#faithbites #faithjourney Coexist
I have recently been involved in many debates about religion and faith. My debates reflect what is going on on the national stage. What does it mean to be a Christian? What does it mean to be an American.
The word that most people forget is AND and instead opt for Or.
Christians believe that the only way to the Father is through the son. That is truth. We don’t have to believe what others believe, but as American’s and good Christians we can be kind and loving. You can believe that the only way to the father is through the son AND coexist peacefully with those who believe differently. Those who doubt that are using their religion as a weapon against others.
Again, this is not saying you have to believe how others live, love, or worship. It is saying that Christ tells us to love all people and treat them with kindness. He will ultimately judge in the end, not us.
At first glance, you may wonder why I chose to scriptures that seem in conflict. Many use the first scripture as a way to dast out unbelievers. That there is no dark in the light and they have to be separate. While, that may be true, it doesnt mean to be unkind. Furthermore, as it says in colossians, we need to take every opportunity to listen, learn about the person, and grow with them. We need to show kindness at all steps.
Listening to and loving someone doesnt mean you believe what they do. You can help them and be there for them. Being against the person or what they stand for, doesnt change what you believe in. The only thing that pulls you against your beliefs is if you act in a hateful manner.
There are many things people do that I dont agree with. I will still love them, share with them my beliefs, and if they want to listen, great. If not, I will still treat them with peace.
How do you interact with those who dont believe what you do? Do you listen and share or do you cast them out with harmful words? Here’s a tough challenge. Imagine the words you are using are said to you. How would you feel? If you don’t like it, don’t use them.
Lord, help us listen to one another. You are present in all we do. Help us to listen to all of your people. Help us learn from them even and especially when they aren’t like us. Everyone in the world is part if your plan, help us to always be kind to everyone, no matter their beliefs. In your name, Amen.