Good Life

Keeping up friendships when you’re at different life stages

Some friends are getting married/having kids, and I’m not. How can we stay friends when we’re at such different stages?

What’s one of the quickest ways to kill a friendship in any stage of life? Assumptions. About anything. Assumptions mean communication is lacking, and a friendship without communication is destined to falter. Here’s what to do instead:

What do you do when you have outgrown your friends?

Social media can be a wonderful tool – until it begins to feel like a tether. When high school friendships are no longer up to date, but you are friends on Facebook, here are a few suggestions on how to put a little distance where needed when you come home to visit.

1. Pray about your role in the relationship(s). Remember, we are called to be God’s instruments. He may be placing you in their life for a reason. Be open to God’s will.

My first “real” boss doesn’t provide feedback

You have landed your first real job. You work hard to prove yourself. You arrive early and leave late. But your boss doesn’t give you any positive feedback. How can you find satisfaction at work when your environment is not encouraging your efforts?

1. Stay the course. Continue to work hard and be true to yourself and your work ethic. God gave you certain talents to use for his glory – to deny those talents is to deny God’s gift.

I can’t keep up with the lifestyles of my friends

Island vacations. Expensive dinners. Quick weekend getaways. Sounds fun, right? But what if your bank account doesn’t match that of your friends? Try some of these ideas when seeking ways to spend time together.

1. Progressive dinner parties. This is a fantastic way to allow everyone to be in control of how much they spend during your gathering. You may choose to find budget-friendly appetizers while some of your friends make expensive masterpieces.

Alternative Spring Break? Can I mix fun with something meaningful?

Feeling a tug to do something more meaningful on your spring break than relax on a beach? Here are a few things to consider:

1. What is my purpose? Not your purpose in life – but the purpose behind your spring break plans. Are you looking to leave your life behind and R-E-L-A-X? Are you finding a way to glorify God in your plans? You can absolutely glorify God in relaxation – though the path to questionable decisions often begins with idle time.

How can I invite someone back to church at Christmas?

Bells are ringing. The trees are glistening. Everything is covered in snow. All seems right with the world during the Christmas season. But what if your friend or family member is missing out on the best part of Christmas – Christ? Here are a few ideas to help bring them back to church during this special time.

1. Pray. Ask God to give you the words to reach their hearts. Pray for an opening to have a caring, spirit-filled conversation with all judgments left outside.

When religious people make uncharitable comments

My brother asked me why, if religion is so great, he hears and sees so many uncharitable comments from religious people. What do I say?

This is a tough issue – your brother recognizes the hypocrisy in the sinful actions of Christians who claim to act righteously. • Remind him that Christians are human, and nobody is perfect. We all sin, despite our best efforts not to. We make uncharitable comments and do unkind things to those around us, just like everybody else. That doesn’t excuse our behavior, but we have to acknowledge that we are all sinners.

I feel lousy after I've been on social media too long but otherwise I feel disconnected

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter … social media are everywhere! Used as a tool to improve our connections, they can benefit our relationships. However, they can also be a time thief that leaves us feeling terrible if we’re not careful. Here are a few ways to make sure they enhance, not hinder.

1. Claim control. Spend time catching up with people and things that leave you feeling connected with those you care about. Don’t get lost in the rabbit hole of everything else going on with people you don’t know well or at all. Set a time limit to keep yourself accountable.

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