need advice

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Hey guys...I’m going through a rough time right now with a friend of mine from school. She’s a really good person, she’s a hard worker, and she’s respectful of my beliefs and morals as a Coptic Orthodox Christian. The one IMPORTANT thing that she’s lacking is being accepting of her faith. She is a non-practicing Catholic…so I guess you could say she’s practically an atheist. EVERY bio class, we get into several discussions about faith. We get into heated discussions like evolution, sex before marriage, dating at a young age, attending mass every Sunday- practically anything, you name it! I’m becoming frustrated because no matter what I tell her, and no matter what behaviour I model in front of her, there doesn’t seem to be anything different about her way of thinking. The conversations we have now are the exact conversations we’ve been having since the start of the school year.
Ive tried so many things…I offered to pick her up and have her attend with me our youth “faith group” held by father Pishoy Wasfy…I spoke to my father of confession and he offered to give me pamphlets on evolution…i offered to give her those pamphlets, and recently I offered to lend her a book that proves the Da Vinci Code to be phony…
I’m really getting saddened by this and now when I talk to her I have a hard time mingling with her…I don’t treat her any different but in the back of my head im reminded of her unwillingness to know God and of my failure towards reaching out to her…I know I shouldn’t completely blame myself, but there’s probably something more I could have done that I haven’t…I really need ur advice guys…im uptight …I don’t know how to deal with this girl anymore…I get overly upset when I hear about cases like this…now, I’m practically hearing this EVERYDAY...PLEASE HELP!

GB...thanks for ur time++


  • Hi Youstina,

    Well, all I can say from past experiences, is don't be pushy...its a turn off for not only those you are trying to help but it reflects badly on urself.
    I can see you care about her a lot and its frustrating you that you can't reach her spiritually and help her,but these things take a lot of time and prayer, talk to your FOC more and ask him what you should do, maybe he will give u some great advice that you can use on your friend.
    Most importantly pray for her that she sees the light and comes back to God.
    Abouna Pishoy Wasfy said something really important before which could possibly relate to her. She could just be confused, not knowing what to believe, or just scared because she might be doing some "bad" or sinful actions which in turn makes her an "athiest" as she then wouldn't be worried or guilty about her actions... However I do not know her and do not want to judge her in any way, these are just hypotheses and random babblings brought to you by moi!
    All I can say is definately sit down with your FOC and discuss this delicate situation with him.
    God bless and I am definately praying for your friend.

    PS: If you're youstina salib aka yoshi then HI its samar!!! If not...Hi im samar!! lol :)
  • wow sounds like its a tough problem have u tried her to attend one of our masses or introduced her 2 ur church friends to try an attract her back to the faith?

    - an love4all gave the best advice ive ever heard
  • you are just a tool in god's hands, dont forget that. if ur efforts are fruitless, maybe its bc god has a different plan. The only way that someone can be converted ir convinced, is when the holy spirit enters their heart. dont just look to one way, try others, and if it doesnt work, dont get aggrivated, if god wants to win her over using u, then it will come in due time, if not then its not the time yet.
  • Youstina,
    Two examples from the lives of the saints come to mind:
    1) Saint Monica, she prayed with tears for 21 years for her son to know God
    2) A story about one of the desert Fathers (I believe Anba Macarious the Great) The story goes like this. He was walking in the desert with his deciple, who was much younger. The diciple when ahead a little bit and met this pagan priest who was carring water for the alter. he started to preach to him and point out the error of his ways when the Pagan priest didn't listen, he started calling him names to get his attention (you devil worshipper, you son of satan, etc) so the priest layed down the water and started beating up the young monk. He started walking in the desert again (the pagan priest) and came across Anba Makarious. When Anba Makarious saw him he started praising him saying things like "God bless you for your effort, you toil and labor for your cause, etc..." The priest was surprised and asked him (anba makarious) how come he is not pointing out to him the error of his ways and how can he be praising a pagan priest. he started listening and not before long, he was ordained a monk.

    I was attendinig a sermon recently about how to talk to people and a few points that came up where when, where, what to say and how. The take home message was to do what God did in Revelation. He started by saying "I know your works and how you oppose those who oppose me" then " but this I have against you" and procedes to critisize the bishop of the church. Then He, not wanting to end on a bad note would say "he who listens will be rewarded so and so"

    So maybe during biology class is not the best time or maybe she is not listening to you because she feels you are trying to preach to her. I guess the bottom line is by carefull selection of these factors (time, place, choice of words, etc...) you may get her to listen. But keep in mind that God may have other plans and you must always pray for her and pray that God may help you bring her closer to him.

    just my .00005 of a penny.
  • Great advices... among great advices mine does not belong... but I just had to let it out…so sorry.

    1. Don’t over preach, because people don’t like that, and it will not get you anywhere.
    2. The girl is getting your attention by her thoughts... so she could be doing that just for attention... and just to argue...
    3. All you need to do is say you message... and he who has ears let him hear. (Period)
    4. The best way to preach is to be the example, not just say the example.
  • people will learn from experiance. not from lectures. i'm sure God has it all planned out and the best you can do is pray for her and be the example. In my opinion, we should all try to be happy simple people. You're God's daughter and something like this shouldn't get you uptight. just trust!

    "why are you fearful o you of little faith"
  • Youstina,

    You and your friend are in my prayers...

    i just want to remind you of somthing very beautiful that we learned on the Mexico Mission Trip....
    (i'm not exactly quoting this, but it is somthing like this:) "We just plant the seed of Faith, its up to the person, through the Grace of God, to water it and let it grow"

    Remember that? It's just going to take alot of time... and patience. If things don't work out now, they might later, if not with you, perhaps with someone else... but you are definately getting a reward in Heaven for giving it your best shot and more...

    i know how you feel, i've been after a person endlessly trying to get them to recognize God, but all efforts in vain... sometimes i feel like i want to stop all forms of communication just 'get this off my back' kinda thing... but.. as mentioned before, we are tools in God's hands and its up to Him how this works....

    Keep in mind that everything you're telling her regarding God, creation, faith, church, etc. is in her mind, and is affecting her, whether you see it or not. Especially since this has been going on a while, and it seems that the conversations are deep and tackled from several angles... All that you're telling her is leaving a print in her thoughts... its not like this is all going over her head. Rest assured somthing is happening, even if its not within your sight :)

    Keep setting an example for her... when she sees the Peace you have within you, the Comfort, the abitly to deal with and overcome problems, the Joy you have in you, and maybe even success in school, she will know that there's somthing special about you, somthing you have that's special, which is our Lord...
    When Christ is in you and shines through you, its hard to ignore... in time she'll notice all this through your good example... and it'll eventually hit her "hey, maybe there is somthing good about God that i dont get..."

    Just keep setting a great example as i'm sure you are, and keep talking to her and trying... we'll leave the rest up to God

    Just my 0.5 cents as usual..

    Take care and God Bless
    Pray for me
  • I love the advice on here guys! im learning new things ever day :) and hi everyone! SMILE! GOD LOVES YOU!
  • Hi Youstina,
    I know the feeling u get, i often feel the same with my friends. I think it is very important that you pray for your friend and continue to lead a good example for her. Then God will do influence her according to His own plan, in his own time. Trying to debating with someone who is jst intent on arguing is not helpful. Pray and have faith...

    God bless you

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