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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Im totally shocked! My friend just told me that shes become Jewish. Shes had a very rough background (abusive home, runaway, drugs, pregnancy, suicidal depression).Shes also gone through a series of foster homes. The last one was an Advenist home, and she seemed to come around and was even baptized. Then this!My friend suffers from obesity and a negative self-image. She says she left the Adventist Church because the members didnt accept her. How can I help her?


Steve Answers:

I’d suggest that you do two things: pray for your friend, and love your friend.

This situation is much bigger than you or anyone else can handle. The power of God is needed. That’s why prayer is the first and most important thing you can do for your friend.

Pray for God to shower your friend with His presence, love, and acceptance. James wrote, "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results" (James 5:16, NLT).*

Now for a moment I’ll pretend that I’m a therapist. Because of your friend’s rough background, it will take months (perhaps years) of visiting me for one hour a week as we unpackage each hurtful experience and seek healing. Actually, my wife is a therapist, and she helps people in this way all the time.

My orientation is more toward the future than uncovering the past. Here’s an example of a text that resonates with my emphasis: "I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven" (Philippians 3:12-14, NLT).

I also suggest that in addition to praying for your friend, you love her. How many different ways can you do that? Here are a few:

•Give your friend hugs when you see her.

•Accept your friend because she’s a child of God, not because she’s needy or angry.

•Listen to your friend. You may need to set time limits if she gushes for hours. Also, don’t worry about trying to defend your church or church members. People with a negative self-image will put down others just because they feel negative about themselves.

•Do some activities with your friend that aren’t necessarily religious. Go shopping or get some food.

•Share your concern, but leave her choices up to her and honor her choices. Some people take complete responsibility for others when they shouldn’t.

It appears that your friend will continue to make a number of wild decisions. Her brief time as an Adventist is only one chapter in her life. Your influence is continuing beyond that chapter. 

*Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.



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