Something I’ve been going through in my life lately has a lot to do with differences.
Differences in opinions.
Differences in interpretation of the Bible.
Differences in lifestyles.
Differences in even the churches my friends attend.
And one thing I’ve really struggled with, and been left to wonder, is do these differences really have to divide us?
Does it have to be a ‘with us or against us’ mentality?
I can’t reconcile in my head how one people, who proclaim to serve one God, can all land in such different places. This is really hard for me to understand.
But I keep feeling like I get a soft push when I’m wrestling to understand this tension in relationship over differences, that understanding why we all are different isn’t for me to gain this side of heaven.
I admit, the people I connect with the most, usually are people who share like-minded views on life as me.
What I’ve come to learn though, is that like-mindedness does not, and should not, equal exclusivity in the relationships that I have.
Just because we have a difference in opinion, or understanding, should not end our relationship. At least that’s my belief.
I would hope that as a friend, you feel the freedom to think different thoughts than just the ones that I think. I believe strongly that this is exactly how God has made us – each VERY different from one another.
And that the push and pull in a relationship, especially with someone who differs from your beliefs and understandings, is oftentimes when things get good.
Our growth comes from these stress and release points.
I’m a pusher by nature. I want to know. And learn. Context helps me to understand.
But oftentimes, I feel something for a certain way, and that just is. It’s born out of the lens and filter God has made me through. I bet the same exists for you. And I think we should be friends anyway.
What can I learn from myself? Not as much I bet, as I can learn from someone different than me.
I pray that I have a humble enough spirit to maintain friendship, and relationship with those that differ from me. By no means do I want to give the enemy any fuel for additional divisiveness within God’s kingdom.
We are one people.
One church (lowercase c).
And there is room for us all.
Don’t break relationship with those that differ from you. Love them (with abundant grace and humility) despite your differences.
THAT is the true spirit of God.