Q: My friends at school are not Christians, and I feel completely alone. They are always gossiping–about each other, and things that happened at the party on the weekend, and stuff like that. I try my best not to gossip too, but then I’m completely left out. I try to act like a Christian, and I have invited some of them to youth group, but they would rather go to a party. What do I do? How am I supposed to act? It gets to me that I have no close Christian friends to share my secrets with and talk to. I feel really alone.

First of all, I have to tell you that I am really proud of you for wanting to be a light to your non-Christian friends. It would be so easy to give up and decide “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” Yet you know your faith is more important than friendships, and you’re right to think that way. I’d like to give you some verses about friendship and gossip before I give you my two cents. These are just verses that talk about what friends should and shouldn’t do. Some of these apply more to your situation than others, but you can never read too much of God’s Word, right?

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. (Proverbs 17:17, New Living Translation)

There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24, NLT)

Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” (Proverbs 26:18-19, NLT)

Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6, NLT)

The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. (Proverbs 27:9, NLT)

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17, NLT)

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. (Proverbs 17:9, NLT)

Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out.  Anyone who loves to quarrel loves sin…. A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. (Proverbs 17:14, 19, 27, NLT)

Don’t spread gossip and rumors….I am GOD. (Leviticus 19:16, The Message)

Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. (Proverbs 4:24, The Message)

A gadabout gossip can’t be trusted with a secret, but someone of integrity won’t violate a confidence. (Proverbs 11:13, The Message)

The gossip of bad people gets them in trouble; the conversation of good people keeps them out of it. (Proverbs 12:13, The Message)

Mean people spread mean gossip; their words smart and burn. (Proverbs 16:27, The Message)

Evil people relish malicious conversation; the ears of liars itch for dirty gossip. (Proverbs 17:4, The Message)

Listening to gossip is like eating cheap candy; do you really want junk like that in your belly? (Proverbs 18:8, The Message)

Don’t talk about your neighbors behind their backs–no slander or gossip, please. (Proverbs 24:28, The Message)

When you run out of wood, the fire goes out; when the gossip ends, the quarrel dies down. (Proverbs 26:20, The Message)

When a leader listens to malicious gossip, all the workers get infected with evil. (Proverbs 29:12, The Message)

Don’t bad-mouth your leaders, not even under your breath, And don’t abuse your betters, even in the privacy of your home. Loose talk has a way of getting picked up and spread around. Little birds drop the crumbs of your gossip far and wide. (Ecclesiastes 10:20, The Message)

There is definitely a place for befriending non-Christians to point them to Christ, but we have to be careful not to get sucked into living life their way (gossiping, partying, focusing on things that really don’t matter in light of eternity). More often than not, bad company corrupts good morals, not the other way around. Even though we might want to be a light to those kinds of friends, there often comes a time when we have to distance ourselves from them. That’s especially true if you’ve offered to show them Christ’s love and they don’t want any part of Him. I know that’s a scary thing to do when you don’t have other Christian friends waiting in the wings for you. But don’t let fear of loneliness keep you tied to “friends” that you shouldn’t be friends with. The honest truth is that you’re better off lonely than hanging around people who are going to drag you down!

Sometimes God asks us to give something up without giving us any promise of returning it. Do you think He might be asking you to give up these bad influences and trust that He’ll bring better friends along when the time is right? That’s a question only you can answer. If you do decide to stay friends with this group of girls, my best advice is to get into the Word as much as possible. Keep living the way God has asked you to, regardless of their response. Are you involved with a church youth group or Christian club at school? That might be one way to make some new friends.

Praying that you’ll have courage to do whatever God asks of you, sis, whether that is breaking ties with this group of girls or standing firm in your faith surrounded by people who don’t give a hoot about Him. I’m here if you need some encouragement or someone to pray for you!

Love,