I had a long chat with a friend yesterday. Vastly different in just about every way possible, ours is an interesting relationship. Our differences do not end at looks, personality, or likes and dislikes. They spill over into politics, sexual orientation, lifestyle choices, and spiritual matters. I think it shocks people, who know both of us, that we’re friends, and, really, sometimes it surprises even us that we get along so well.
I say that, not because people with differences can’t get along. I say it because, more and more in our society, we choose not to. We choose to surround ourselves with the comfortable and the familiar, with the like-minded and the non-threatening. And that’s fine. We need people around us who fall right in line with us, and are traveling the same road.
But you know what?
We also need the people who aren’t.
We need to love them just as much, even when there is disagreement at every turn, because they are imperfect, broken humans just like you and me. They mess up just like you and me; they might do it differently, but last I looked, there is no hierarchy of sin. And whatever they’re doing that might make me uncomfortable is not my problem. My problem is the stuff I’M doing that makes God uncomfortable.
My friend respects me, and I, her. She challenges my faith, but allows me the freedom and privilege to speak it. We enjoy a lively exchange of ideas covered in love. I believe that God is all up in this friendship, and any in which we let Him be concerned with the differences and, instead, we just love the person in spite of them.
In the end, the differences don’t matter. What matters is showing a Light to our fellow man that will ultimately help them find their way Home.
Yes, in the end, the only thing that matters is what He’s said all along…
Love One Another.
“My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!” 1 John 7-12 MSG
Thank you for this reminder of unconditional love. May God direct your path in this friendship.
“celebrating our differences!” amen!