I have a friend whom I've known for about a month. We talk every so often and hang out. We went hiking yesterday and it was the first time she was over at my house.
I don't date non-Christians and she is not a Christian. She knows this and that my faith defines me. With her there is no desire, I don't flirt with her, but I do enjoy her company. After the hike she came in to use the restroom and I had offered her something to eat. Well, my brother introduces himself, then starts walking away but stops and asks, "Are you a Christian?"
She thinks of herself as a spiritual person, so she said, "I am kind of a Christian. I live this way in my life."
My brother asks if we were dating and both of us said, "No." Then my brother says, "Well, my brother doesn't date non-Christians, so you better watch out;" and then just walks away. A few minutes later he says, "Sorry if I embarrassed you," and then walks away again.
The sad thing is that earlier she and I had talked about hypocritical Christians who say one thing but act another, or who judge people before they know them. I had to explain to her the difference between Christians who were just "Sunday Christians" and real Christians who live it every day of their life. Of course I apologized to her for my brother's words, but she sees my brother as a hypocrite who judged her before he knew her.
I was surprised by my brother's comments. I thought, "Wow! Good job in making a non-Christian hate Christians more."
I want to have a place where I can have people over so that they can be influenced by the people I love who are Christians. Now I'm afraid to try it again. I'm angry and frustrated at the moment. I have been praying and trying to cool down. Any advice? There are other people I want to meet my family, but I don't know if it's a good idea any more.
Answer:The core problem is that neither you nor your brother really know what each other is thinking. We get to the point that we assume things because we lived with someone so long. Usually we make good guesses, but when something unexpected happens, it upsets us; but we forget to check to see if we are upset at what a person actually did or more upset because of why we think he did it.
The best thing you can do, once you calm down, is ask your brother, "I'm puzzled. I bring a non-Christian home with me in hopes that she will become more interested in Christianity by meeting other Christians, but it appeared you were trying to drive her off. Why?" And then be prepared to listen to things that will probably upset you, but listen to it all. Talk only to get clarity on where he is coming from. Then you will be armed with sufficient information to make a decision.
Also remember that not everyone expresses themselves well. A person who just made a social goof will be timid in directly stating what he did wrong in fear of making things worse. There are times when we need to forgive people not only for what they actually say sorry about, but also forgive the things they have trouble expressing. This is the way God operates and we are called to forgive as God forgives. "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered" (Romans 8:26).