Some believers don’t like to mix religion with friendship.
Relevant magazine’s Kris Beckert recently wrote that some religious believers hesitate to bring their friends to church because it mixes two different cultures — work and church, which can lead to awkward situations when in and out of the pews.
“Compartmentalization is a lot cleaner, and inviting friends from work, a team or your apartment complex has the potential to blur everything and bleed religion into daily life,” Beckert wrote. “The folks who saw you in the office Thursday or saw what you were doing on Friday night might wonder why you act and talk totally different on Sunday morning.”
But even if you don’t bring your friends to church, you can still talk to them about religion and faith. In fact, 89 percent of young Americans are willing to listen to another person’s beliefs, according to a new study from LifeWay Research. More so, 61 percent wouldn’t mind studying the Bible with a friend, and 46 percent wouldn’t mind joining a small Bible study group.
To help you talk about religion with others, here are 11 Bible verses to share with friends, whether secular, spiritual or religious.
Bible verses for nonbelievers and atheist friends
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Your friends will see this verse on fast food cups, store bags and even on TV. This is because some companies have Christian owners who want to share their beliefs, as Sarah Petersen of Deseret News wrote back in July 2014. Both the owners of Forever 21 and In-N-Out use Bible verses on their products.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Anyone dining at In-N-Out will see this verse printed on hamburger wrappers. Save your friends a Google search and explain that this verse is about letting people in and serving them, which fits in nicely with In-N-Out being a fast food chain that’s always looking to serve its customers.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Pslam 23 is a popular Bible verse that’s often read at funerals, mostly because it’s about finding a way to sidestep the bad times and find the silver linings. It might help to explain this verse before or after attending a funeral.
Corinthians 13: 4-7
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
This verse is popular in wedding receptions or vows. It talks about the beauty of love and how it calls for people to be honest with each other, even through tough times. It can also be commonly seen in Facebook statuses about love.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Like the first letter to the Corinthians, Colossians 3:12 is also heard at weddings and receptions. It’s another one that could pop up on social media for those closing in on their wedding days. The verse encourages people to be patient, kind and humble with the person they love.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Your secular basketball fans may recognize this verse from NBA star Kevin Durant, who had the verse tattooed on his back along with an image of Jesus Christ, according to Fox Sports. The verse makes sense for Durant, who struggled with poverty in his childhood and eventually found success on the basketball court.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The Bible is the oldest book in history, and it’s also the world’s most popular book. So it’s saying something that Romans 12:2 is the world’s most popular Bible verse, according to a study that used social media data to see which verse was shared the most last year.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Tim Tebow was known for putting Bible verses on his eye black before games. In his best ever college performance at the 2009 Sugar Bowl, Tebow wrote this verse on his eye black, according to The Christian Science Monitor. He went on to win 51-24, throwing for 482 yards and earning the nation’s attention.
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Celebrity Selena Gomez had this verse tattooed on her in 2013, mostly because it’s her favorite verse, which she believes helped her become successful.
2 Corinthians 4:6
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”
Here’s a fun fact about this Bible verse — it’s secretly encoded on military weaponry as 2COR4:5. According to ABC News, the company Trijicon, which creates weapons for the military, puts Bible verses on their weapons. It started under Glyn Bindon, the company’s founder who was also a devout Christian.
"You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet."
San Francisco 49ers fans have probably seen this Bible verse on the arm of Colin Kaepernick, who had the verse tattooed on his arm to remind him of where his strength comes from, according to The Christian Post. It follows the trend of athletes using the Bible to inspire them in their respective sports.