QUESTION: “If we found out about a good friend or classmate having sex or things close to it, does this make our opinion of them change? Should it?”
Great question! The Bible is pretty clear that we are to be forgiving and full of grace for other people just like God is towards us. He forgives us for everything we ever do that is wrong, and expects us to forgive just like He does. So clearly, we can’t hold a grudge or look at someone in a arrogant way because of things they are doing wrong.
How if affects your opinion of them depends on a few things. Is your friend someone who is following Jesus? If they aren’t, then they are living by a different set of values than someone who is following Jesus. If your friend is following Jesus, what have they said are their personal values about sex? The Bible is clear about us saving sex for marriage, but does your friend know what the Bible teaches? Have they understood it for themselves? Have they previously decided that they were going to save sex for marriage and now they are changing their plans?
All of this plays into how we show them love and help. You need to be involved in your friends life, and you need to point them towards Jesus and His truth as much as you can. But it’s not your job to convict them of what they are doing wrong. God will work on that, and they will listen or not based on their own heart. You need to pray with them and for them, you need to offer them grace, and you need to speak the truth to them, but do it in love. That’s a tall order. It means you will need to be praying for wisdom, grace, courage, and mercy a lot. You’ll probably need someone else to help you love them and care for them as well. It’s tough to face these things alone.
Will it cause you to lose trust in them? Possibly. And that may be a deserved result. If they are clear about what God says, and have decided to pursue this relationship anyway, they are going to push God away in the process. They may not be as trustworthy or close to you as they would be if they made the decision to follow Jesus’ direction on all of this. So it will definitely affect your relationship, and it may get rocky because of all of this.
So, be patient. Pray like crazy. All big changes begin with prayer. Love them AND speak truth to them at the same time. Talk it out with someone you trust. It’s worth it.