Stay Salty, My FriendsStay Salty, My Friends
Woe to you, when all people speak well of you—Luke 6:26
Sooner or later our faith conflicts with friendship. Sooner or later our faith is tested against friendship. You see, the time will come, for each of us, when a friend needs us. He or she will take a dark path (as we all do, sometimes), a path leading away from God. It might be dramatic; it might not. When it happens, though, we’ll face a choice—to speak up and speak truth into his or her life . . . or . . . to ignore what’s going on, avoid conflict, and avoid the risk of forever altering the friendship or even losing it altogether.
The good news is that we’re designed for these kinds of things. We’re the “salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13). For God gave us “a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7). But, salt can, over time, lose its taste—lose its saltiness. We men lose our saltiness when we choose popularity over truth, passivity over love. The problem is, salt that has lost its taste “is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet” (Matthew 5:13).
Okay, so what do we do?
When the time comes, before you do anything, make sure you’re being driven not by judgment or resentment or jealousy. If you might be, go no further and simply entrust your friend to God. God’s able to reach your friend by other means. If, however, you’re sure that it’s love that’s driving you, more than anything else, then go ahead and speak. Put your friendship upon the altar and see what God does with it. Do it privately and gently. But be warned, it might not go well. These conversations are tough. That’s okay. Trust God to work it out in the end.