Discipling A New Believer

Q. I have this friend that excepted Jesus only a year ago. At that time, she was in a Catholic church. She now is going to a Catholic one one week and then an Evangelical one the next. She was living with a man, unmarried, and she is a widow with a 13 year old daughter.

I have tried to tell her and show her what the Holy Bible says about her situation, to no avail. The man has moved out, but, they are still seeing each other.

My question to you is, ” how long do I keep telling her what the Bible say’s about fornication, being unequally yoked, and an assortment of other things that she is doing and ignoring Gods’ word? Should I stop speaking to her? (1 Cor. 5: 9-11)

At one time I told myself that I would no longer tell her what Scripture says about her actions, but, then she will ask a biblical question, and I answer it. She has gotten really good at quoting to other friends what I have told her the Bible says, but she won’t read it for herself. I have even gone to the extent of asking her to examine herself and see where she has been obedient to Jesus. No, she hasn’t gotten baptized yet. I have explained to her about the different soils, and nothing gets her attention! I would appreciate any input that you have! I don’t want to loose a longtime friend, but, I want to be obedient to Jesus even more.

A. People don’t like unsolicited advice, even from the Bible. And they aren’t drawn to the Lord because of His righteousness, but because of His kindness.(Romans 2:4) In reaching the unsaved, Jesus went among them, treated them with dignity, and stood up for them against their detractors. In short, He earned their respect. That way, when he began showing them how to live, they were receptive.

You don’t have to approve of a person’s behavior to love them as they are. And once they understand that you do love them, they’ll begin listening to what you say. The best discipleship is not in telling someone what to do, but in showing them who you are in Christ. Remember John 13:34-35. They’ll know we are Christians by our love.

Once your friend truly has Jesus in her heart and understands all that He’s done for her, she’ll want to change her behavior to please Him. In the meantime she seems to be drawn to you, so continue to show her His love.

It sounds like she’s been through some rough times. If so it’ll be a huge change from her current life to the one the Lord desires for her, and it may take some time. But He is patient, not wanting any to perish, and if He’s chosen you to work with her He’ll give you patience too.

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