A few weeks ago, I wrote about what to do when your friends have opinions that are different and may be conflicting with your own. It required listening and empathy. There are times, though, that you have to take a stand.
When is that?
When they ask you to go against your principles. Doing that isn’t always popular. It can affect a relationship. Friendships may even end from it.
It’s hard sometimes. Telling people “no” isn’t fun. People don’t want to hear it.
My wife was asked to do something that goes against her principles. She was in a tug of war between wanting to help this person and her convictions. The answer was easy for me, but she is also a much more caring person than I.
I had to step in. What was being asked was to help a friend do something legal, yet immoral.
I protected her from being an accomplice and enabling sin.
She was worried about what to say. She was planning to do something else so she wouldn’t be able to. I told her, “just tell them you’re not going to join them in their wrongdoing. Sometimes following Jesus will make people mad at you. He even had people mad at him. When we stand by our convictions, we won’t always be cheered or popular.”
I had this line from Pastor Rod’s sermon on goodness in the back of my mind.
“Be good. Do good. Tell the truth. Keep people safe.”
My wife told her no. I was struggling with how I wanted to approach it. It is a situation where I wasn’t sure how to respond to other than my tendency to preach or lecture.
That doesn’t work. I’d feel better for venting, but it would still accomplish nothing. I didn’t have the relational currency needed to do that.
When it comes to choices, think through this grid. Whose approval do I want? People’s or God’s.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
Firmly, but gently, stand by your convictions.