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Need some advice

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by Amilia, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Amilia

    Amilia New Member

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    When I became a Christian, I changed in so many ways VERY quickly. I dropped everything to follow after Jesus, including my own "dreams" and the things I was addicted to (TV, video games, etc.), and I did it because God changed me, first from the inside and it showed on the outside.
    Well, my family started asking questions soon after. I answered their questions the best I could and trusted God to change them if He wanted to.
    Then I got asked the same questions again by the same people, such as:
    "Why don't you like [insert video game here]? You used to love it!"
    "Why won't you watch this movie with us?"
    "You used to be such a blabbermouth. What happened?"

    They have been asking me questions like these almost every day for months. I stopped answering them, because they know the answer, they just won't believe it. I remember my mom saying once when I was little that people don't really change, they're always the same on the inside, so maybe that's why she doesn't believe it.
    The best way to describe all of this is, it's like I was stuck in a dark hole and finally got out, but then the people in the hole keep trying to pull me back in while asking, "why don't you come back? You used to love the darkness!" Yeah, because I was blind and ignorant.

    Since I know my family is probably still going to ask these questions, I wanted to ask for some (biblical) advice on how to be patient with them. I feel frustrated on the inside when they ask the same questions again and again, and they just don't understand that I don't like the things I used to anymore. It's like they think I am faking it and that I'm only doing it because I'm afraid of hell or out of guilt. Why is it so surprising that I want to be with someone so powerful and amazing as God?

    So again, I wanted to ask for advice for this, and maybe Bible verses that would be helpful for this type of situation as well.
     
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  2. Emli

    Emli In love with our Lord Jesus Supporter

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    I'm not sure on how to advice you on this, but I want to applaud you for giving up everything for Christ. :clap:
    Not everyone is willing to do that today. So I'll pray that you keep going strong, and urge you to have great joy and comfort in the fact that He will use you. I see my own journey in what you've been through, and God has used me in many ways already.

    I think that you need to just be patient with them. Keep being who you are in Christ, and after a while, they will just get used to it. Show them how much you love God, and how much you've really changed. What do you do on your spare time? Do you go to church? Maybe you can find a charity to join? If you keep living the Christian life, they will eventually come to terms with it, and maybe even be inspired.

    I hope that helps.
     
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  3. Amilia

    Amilia New Member

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    You should applaud God, it's because of Him that I was able to give up everything :) But thank you for the helpful advice and kind words, and for praying
     
  4. Emli

    Emli In love with our Lord Jesus Supporter

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    What a great response! I will praise Him! He did the same for me :)
     
  5. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    I'm all for your new commitment, and I could be quite wrong about what I'm going to suggest, but it seemed to me that for them to ask these questions wasn't as accusatory as it seemed to you.

    Perhaps they were verbalizing their surprise at the changes they see happening to you--and somewhat worried if the cause is something less admirable than you and I know it to be. You know that a person who suddenly gives up everything that he used to love can be a sign of a serious personality problem.

    On the other hand, maybe you shouldn't just quit family activities "cold turkey." There's a big difference between being addicted to some wasteful enterprise like video games or TV and refusing to watch a movie with your parents. Consider that it might mean a lot to them for you to join in at least some times.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  6. gym_class_hero

    gym_class_hero Active Member

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    I don't think you have to give them long answers. Tell them your priorities have changed and leave it at that. Above all you cant come across as judgemental or all knowing to them.

    But in your hearts set apart 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, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. – 1 Peter 3:15-16
     
  7. Look Up

    Look Up "What is unseen is eternal"

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    Hi Amilia,

    First note that it is hard to peg your only specific examples of changed behavior ("dreams, TV, video games") with Christian moral or Biblical virtue categories--perhaps other than behavioral (as opposed to chemically induced) addiction, though that may be of less certain definition than a clinical diagnosis. This is not to say Biblical values are not involved in varied ways (they usually are, for one thing), and your claim to behavioral change is broader than your specific examples, but how then can readers suggest particular Bible verses in possible application to your situation? They must be general in keeping with your general request.

    Granted, you may have reasons for being vague, and I am not asking or advising you to divulge private information on this forum which you feel uncomfortable sharing.

    Then there is the possibility of my speculation. Parallels with your description of social pressure to conform and feelings of isolation may in some ways perhaps be found in 1 Pet. 4:1-4, Jeremiah 15 (esp. v. 17), 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1, Rom. 12:1-2. Or at least these come immediately to my mind; there are others. But if any of these are in any way applicable to your circumstances, I must leave to you to decide.

    And Albion, above, may be right to suggest your family may have a desire to include you in a way that may in some respects be legitimate. For all I know. The TV and video games issue may be more of a conscience thing in your thinking, which makes your case more difficult for you then. You may fear the "addiction" problem with TV and video games, and they may not sympathize with your new conscience on the issues.

    There is nothing in the Bible specifically addressing TV or video games of course, but conscience in a particular social setting concerned with eating meat sacrificed to idols may be found in 1 Cor. 8 & 10 (cf. Rom. 14). Be careful how you read & apply these.

    If I have at all read your circumstances aright, I would encourage you to remain faithful to the commands of Jesus as Lord (together with the teachings of the apostles); this may include heeding the warning: "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Rom. 12:18), family included, even if that remains difficult.

    Perhaps you could find ways to engage with family that are acceptable venues for both yourself and your non-Christian family: meals, household chores, some in-home construction project, sports. Are you working full time or going to school or both? If school is involved somehow, can you help someone with homework? Are there school activities or social clubs you and some family member can join together? But perhaps here I go too far out on a limb speculating.
     
  8. ChristianFromKazakhstan

    ChristianFromKazakhstan Well-Known Member

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    Happy for you. No advice other than keep asking Jesus for patience and wisdom and understanding and love. He promised, He will give.
     
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  9. Amilia

    Amilia New Member

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    Wow, thanks for the advice. And I don't think watching TV itself is a sin (if you can find a good reason for doing it), but for me it is because I was so addicted to it, that's mostly why I don't watch it with them.
    I've tried the meals and household chores suggestions before, but it was still helpful of you to mention those. I'll try to do what you mentioned if I can.
    And as for what you said in the first part of your post, yes, I was being vague on purpose. There are many things I left out because 1) there are too many details, and 2) I feel like it's wrong to give too many details about my family, if that makes sense.
    But anyway, thanks again, that helped a lot
     
  10. Amilia

    Amilia New Member

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    Yeah, they did think that I had something wrong with me at first. They made that pretty clear...

    I gave up TV and video games because I was addicted to them the same way an alcoholic is addicted to alcohol, I felt like I NEEDED them and they were taking over my life for years, then I just suddenly gave them up when God changed me. Plus, I am not close to my parents at all. When I was little we argued a lot and I didn't feel close to my parents, and now that I'm a Christian we have nothing in common (except we're from the same family). I obey them because I think honoring your parents is a beautiful thing, but they want me to do things that aren't right, like argue back with them and not obey the Bible because people won't like me for it, as they have said. That is where I draw the line.
     
  11. david.d

    david.d Member

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    A drastic change can be alarming to people that care about you, they may be concerned more than anything. My only real advice is to stay in good spirit and be cautious of how you let others effect your faith. Even Jesus was tempted by Satan and so is every new Christian. Don't let him steal away your joy. He attacks us when we think we are the strongest, because we let our guard down. Just remember God is your strength. Be careful praying for patience, pray for peace instead. Patience can be a lifelong journey.
     
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  12. Solomons Porch

    Solomons Porch Solomon's Porch Supporter

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    If you don't wanna do it, don't. If you don't like it, don't. If you feel the HS drawing you away from it and your happy not doing it, keep it that way. Sit on the couch while they do their thing, put your headphones on and listen to your Jesus stuff. Tada and hand claps for you standing your ground!! We need strong people in this world to set an example, in love. But stand firm :oldthumbsup:
     
  13. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon CF Senior Ambassador

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    H; really good indeed to read of your life changing testimony to the power of the grace of God in Christ!

    Acts 2.41-42 is a good guide to basic Christian activities for those who have professed faith in the Lord Jesus.

    The Epistle to the Philippians (short; only 4 chapters) is a wonderful, Christ-centred letter to Christians exhorted by Paul to be prayerful, joyous and thankful.

    John's First Epistle (again, short; only 5 chapters) is a very deeply moving and searching letter with themes that include walking in the light in contrast to the darkness, fellowship with others who also walk in the light and above all with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

    Do remember to pray when you read also! :)
     
  14. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon CF Senior Ambassador

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    New life does involve change! :)

    Life in the vine (John 15) and growth in grace (2 Peter 3) are the natural consequences of a changed heart :)
     
  15. Look Up

    Look Up "What is unseen is eternal"

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    One could throw you some verses on patience, perseverance, and related virtues (e.g., Eph. 4:2, 32, Col. 3:12-13, Rom. 5:3-4, 12;12, 1 Cor. 13:4, Gal. 6:9, Ps. 37:7, and so on), and these are good to meditate on.

    Or you could find these and similar texts on your own using a Bible concordance (the old fashioned hardcopy sort) or just Google Bible phrases or look up Bible words on BibleGateway.com. or like site on your own.

    Meditating on the Bible is important. But this brings me to one of the "how to do" Christian ethics question, for example as taught particularly in Romans 6 (with which chapter I assume you will again familiarize yourself). Here is found the exhortation to identify with Jesus in His death, putting to death sin in oneself; and in His life, in living for God. Being a Christian does mean doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong in God's eyes, but the disciple of Jesus lives life in mimicry of Jesus dying to self and in resurrecting in newness of life. "Deny yourself daily, take up your cross, and follow" Jesus.

    The Christian is exhorted to "work out" his or her salvation with fear and trembling alright--having patience among the requirements--but on the grounds that God "is at work" causing the believer "to will and to act according to [God's] good purpose" (Phil 2:12-13). We have a duty to our Creator and Redeemer. True. But we are empowered too, both to will and to act. Jesus not only saved, but He is saving from sin.

    That should be encouraging and goading/exhorting. In the power of the Holy Spirit, the Christian follows in the footsteps of the Crucified Savior. And has an obligation to do so. Not just "Be patient," true as the obligation is, but "walk by the Spirit" in doing so.

    Then there's prayer: "God help me!" and the like. "God help me be faithful!" And church. Christians (are to) exhort one another lest they be hardened by sin's deceitfulness (Heb. 3:13). They do not (should not) forsake assembling together, but gather regularly and encourage one another (Heb. 10:25).

    Use the tools God gives you. Yes, I need the encouragement and exhortation too.

    Last: You are not alone. Well, you and your circumstances are unique. Isn't that true of us all? But you are not alone as a Christian in facing resistance from non-Christian family and in other temptations you face. Other Christians face similar things. And though Jesus never sinned (how could He?), even He (in the body) was tempted (see the book of Hebrews again) and shared in our humanity, so becoming a priest for us who understands our weaknesses. That is meant to encourage us. Jesus is interceding for us before the Father. He is our High Priest, even when we fail and fall.

    No, it is not easy. Yes, you will falter. Persevere anyway. Follow the Good Shepherd who suffered for His sheep. The Comforter/Exhorter (the Holy Spirit) is here, in us. (And may God help me too!)
     
  16. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Member since 2005 Supporter

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    Hi Amilia & welcome to CF!

    I too am inspired by your devotion to Jesus, when it sounds like you're the only Christian in your family. I know this isn't exactly what you're asking about but I think the following article will be helpful to you~~~> How to respond to my non Christian family? | Questions & Answers .
     
  17. ub4me

    ub4me Senior Veteran

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    They probably just miss your company of doing those things with you. Just continue to be the good example you are & don't grow weary of giving the reason you have changed. It is a great testimony of your love for the Lord. That old devil will use those closest to you to get at you, because they are the ones hardest to minister to because they knew you "before". Like Jesus trying to minister in His hometown. Stay strong! You are doing this right
     
  18. longwait

    longwait Active Member

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    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

    4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

    5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:3-5
     
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