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Hello! i have this friend where in before, he was a normal teenage guy (drinks, jokes around things like that) then all of a sudden, when he started courting this girl who happens to be a christian he became “i don’t drink/smoke/party” etc and whenever we talk he always quotes something from the bible (in a weird way), in short, he transformed, and we fear that he’s doing all this for the girl, not for God, so how can we tell if it’s really for God? or if not, how do we tell him that?
I understand where you’re coming from. Faking believing in Jesus to impress a girl is kind of squicky (to use a theological term) and will end badly for everyone involved. However, diagnosing and addressing what is going on in someone’s heart is not for us to do. You won’t know if this is just about the girl until that relationship is no longer in the picture. Knowing that stuff for sure is beyond us, that is Holy Spirit territory.
Let’s just look at the facts: your friend is not smoking anymore (we can all agree with the Surgeon General that that is a good thing), not drinking anymore (which since he is a teenager is illegal, so that’s good), and not partying (I don’t know specifically what you mean by that, but I think quitting that probably isn’t the worst thing). I can see how the awkward bible quoting can kind of weird you out, but this still seems like this situation is a net positive. Your fear that it might all end up being just surface are still understandable, but I have another theory that gives your friend the benefit of the doubt.
Maybe your friend wants to do this Jesus thing, he just has no idea what it actually looks like. So he is just doing the best stuff he can think of, which are surface things. If you don’t know anyone who has a real relationship with the Lord, then it makes a certain amount of sense that Ned Flanders is what pops to mind when you think “Christian”. You and I know that being a Christian is not about trying to act like you have it all figured out, and it is not about good behavior. Unfortunately, a lot of people who have advertising budgets wish that was what it was about, so the real message gets muddied.
So you could give him a more realistic picture. Invite him to a Bible Study or small group of folks sharing and investing in each other’s lives. Get some folks together to help with a Vacation Bible Study or go help at a soup kitchen and invite him along. That will give him something actually Christian to frame his ideas around. As a secondary effect, if he isn’t in it for the right reasons right now, it may show him an aspect of the gospel that will interest him on a deeper level. Show him the real Jesus and that will stick with him after a high school relationship may have fallen away.
-Matt from The Bridge