You want to live out your faith. You want to show your friends that Jesus is actually awesome, and can help bring so much goodness to their lives. You're trying to be a good example, and say the right things ... But what if they don't want to hear it? What if you've tried to be open with them and obedient to God, but it's not "working"?
Here's a few things to think about:
1. Start Small
Inviting friends to a fun church event, sharing your own experience or offering to pray for someone during a tough time are examples of ways you can open up about your faith without sounding too preachy or intimidating if they aren’t ready yet. If they are interested, they can ask more, and you can see how they respond to what you say and go from there.
If they really don't want to hear more - don't pressure them. Be available to them as a friend. Pray for them, but know that you can't argue someone into the Kingdom of God; nor is it your job to try.
2. Take the Pressure Off
About 2 years after becoming a Christian, I was talking with one of my pastors, and feeling upset and so discouraged, like I was failing or I wasn't doing good enough. I was sad that my friends and family weren’t interested in this new hope and faith I had found. He told me basically it wasn't up to my good behaviour or words to "make" them become a Christian.
It was like a huge weight off my shoulders. I had thought if I was "good enough" as Christian then maybe they would get it. But that was a lie and a trap I had fallen into.
God wants us to live free and share our faith in real, honest and joyful ways. But it's not up to us to "save" anyone. It's only by Him working in their hearts that this can happen.
Of course we should be living lives that show the example of who Jesus is and how He loves people, but ultimately He has to speak to their hearts – and they have to let Him in.
Sometimes people's journeys of faith can take time. A lot of time. But you can be sure God is not giving up on them!
3. Trust that God is at Work
For some of your friends, God is already working on their lives in BIG ways you just might not be able to see yet. Maybe they are wrestling inside with what faith looks like. Maybe they are asking deep questions secretly in their hearts. Maybe they are praying at night and seeking God, just unsure yet what His name is. Maybe they are going through challenges and struggles that God will one day redeem in amazing ways.
I know for me, before I became a Christian I would say things like "I don't want a religion" or "I don't believe god is like that..." but then - wham! - at the right time, and over time, I came to know who Jesus really was, and it all changed!
So, you really NEVER know what can happen. God is just that good. He can turn ANY BODY'S heart around.
4. Be Real
In the meantime, you can still live out your faith in other real ways - like being a genuine friend, offering compassion and forgiveness, standing up for others, being honest, patient and generous, and taking time to really listen to other’s struggles and stories.
Even if they don't want you to talk about Jesus all the time when you're together, no one would ask you to stop being an awesome friend.
And this doesn't mean pretending to be perfect or "having it all together". It means being a real person, knowing that Jesus is the best friend to accept us even with our faults and failures. We get to be a true example of His GRACE!
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So, don't give up. Keep praying for them. Show them genuine love. Let them know you’re there for them if they ever want to talk. And remember the Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15
“In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”
So, when they are ready to ask - you'll be there to answer!