March 13, 2008

Do You See What I See?

I had a long conversation with a friend yesterday. And it was one of those conversations where you have a pretty good idea what the other person is thinking and what they are going to say, but you still have the conversation anyway. During the conversation, and after, I found myself thinking that I don't see things the way my friend sees them, but yet that would never change the fact that they're a close friend that I care about.

Which brings me to my question for today's post: When did we lose the ability to see things different ways, but still retain our friendship, love, and compassion for one another?

Are you experiencing this at work? Are you experiencing this with friends of your own? We are so prone to simply cast someone aside when they don't see something like we do. We want so much for people to see something "EXACTLY" the way we see it. We draw black and white lines around everything in life and then belittle or insult those who don't want to see the world the way we've drawn the lines.

We do this in church. We do this is politics. We do this education. We do this at work. We do this in just about every area of our life.

Am I saying that lines don't need to be drawn? No…the Bible tells us very clearly what the boundaries and lines of life are.

What I am asking is: Why can't we be more charitable and loving to those who don't see the picture the way we want them to see it?

Where have we lost the ability to love those with different viewpoints?

When have we quit loving our enemies?

When we quit following Jesus and start elevating our opinions above Jesus!

As I get older year by year, I'm beginning to grow in ways I never imagined. Ten years ago, I would never have spoken to my friend again because he just didn't "get it". I would have yelled and argued during the conversation. I would have wondered what was wrong with them.

But I'm beginning to very much understand that vengeance is not mine. It's God's, just like He said it was. I believe with all my heart in calling all men to repent. I believe with all my heart of rebuking those who are wayward and administering church discipline. I believe there are times where friendships must cease because of certain things.

But more times not, that is not the case and we just need to simply "agree to disagree" and still go fishing (or shopping if you're female) together. Too many times we throw a person out because of our disagreement with their views. We sacrifice a friend for an opinion. That leads to a very lonely and hostile life.

I love my friend. I disagree with my friend's views. But I love my friend. And I realize that I don't change people, God does. And while God is working on changing both of us, I want to be able to enjoy my friendship. I don't want to have to choose between my opinion and my friend.

And I don't think I have to.

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