Having an atheist friend is one of the best ways to not get trapped into a Christian bubble.
We have a tendency, as humans, to choose people who affirm our every thought and make us feel good about our life decisions. When we limit our crowd to people who believe the same, do church the same, vote the same, listen to the same music… you get the idea… we begin to atrophy.
Engage with culture
Our brains die from neglect. We aren’t challenged and begin to slip into “Christianese” language. We forget how to speak to those outside our circles. There is a chance we may even forget how to think for ourselves.
The cure? Engage with the culture around you. Seek out friends who think differently. Find an atheist friend and have real conversations.
Ask hard questions
Questions produce stronger faith. If we never question why we believe something – if we never challenge it – then how can we know we truly believe?
Having a friend who believes that God does not exist is someone worth listening too and hearing out. Your atheist friend will have well thought out arguments that will challenge you. Sit with that challenge and explore why and what you believe.
Yes. You may spend nights tossing around their arguments in your head instead of sleeping. But isn’t a stronger faith that has been challenged and came out whole worth it?
Get outside of the echo chamber
As Christians, we build echo chambers. We do it through social media and with face to face relationships. Over time we gravitate to the people who reflect what we like about ourselves. These people make us comfortable in our -own skin. Friend, that is a dangerous place to live.
We are not called to be comfortable. We are to be world changers. If we are going to be a light for others to see Jesus, then we have to engage with those who see the world differently.
Our best friends are the ones who challenge and stretch us. They don't let us stay the same boring person we are today. They love us as we are but also see our potential.
Solidify your belief in God, share Jesus
When you challenge your faith, I mean dig deep and get to the core of why you believe what you do, it comes out stronger. Before you can share who Jesus is with others, you have to address your own doubts. Don't run from them. Explore them. You'll be better for it.
Don’t believe me? Give it a try.
Invite your atheist friend to dinner. Instead of trying to win them over to your way of thinking sit back and hear them out. Explore their beliefs and listen to the why behind them.