After uploading this week’s Encouragement for Real Life podcast episode, “Can Our Differences Make Us Better and Not Bitter?,” I have been nearly fixated on how humanity treats one another. Our differences don’t have to divide us, but somehow, they are. I know change has to start with me, so please know, no matter what our differences are, I will still be your friend.
Yes, I will still be your friend.
If you believe in something different than me, I will still be your friend.
If your faith isn’t the same as mine, I will still be your friend.
When you belong to a different political party than me, I will still be your friend.
If you consider yourself a “progressive” or a “conservative” or somewhere in between, I will still be your friend.
If you believe in wearing masks or not, I will still be your friend.
No matter your opinion on vaccines, I will still be your friend.
If you act different than me, I will still be your friend.
It doesn’t matter to me what your socioeconomic status is, I will still be your friend.
If you think differently than me, I will still be your friend.
No matter what church you attend, or even if you attend one, I will still be your friend.
If you pray or if you don’t, I will still be your friend.
No matter what sins you’ve committed or what mistakes you’ve made, I will still be your friend.
Because we don’t have to agree on everything to be friends.
And we don’t have to live perfect lives to be friends. Because, goodness, I’ve messed up and likely made more mistakes than most. I’ve sinned with the best of ’em.
We don’t have to be the same to be kind to each other.
Nor do we have to be like-minded to do life together.
That’s just silly.
I will be your friend when we disagree, when we vote for opposite parties, when we choose to live differently or believe differently or think differently.
I will be your friend if you’re vaccinated or not, or if you wear a mask or not. or if you social distance or not.
And I will still be your friend if you don’t agree with me, if you tell me I’m wrong, or if you choose not to be my friend anymore because of the divisive things of this world.
Why will I still be your friend?
Because I believe God calls me to. Because that’s who I am. Here is what motivates me:
Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody.Romans 12:18 GNT
We love because He has first loved us. If someone claims, “I love God,” but hates his brother or sister, then he is a liar. Anyone who does not love a brother or sister, whom he has seen, cannot possibly love God, whom he has never seen. He gave us a clear command, that all who love God must also love their brothers and sisters.1 John 4:19-21 VOICE
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”John 13:34-35 MSG
Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.Ephesians 4:32 AMP
But, please be patient with me.
I won’t live this out perfectly. I will mess up. There will be times I choose my own selfish ways instead. But I will ask for your forgiveness when I fail. And I will be patient with you, too.
Because after all, that’s what friends do, right?
We are patient with each other. We love each other. And we believe the best in each other. We are willing to forgive and forget. We can be there for each other. Even when we disagree. Even when we believe differently. And yes, even when we mess up.
Will you pray with me?
Father God, thank You for Your unconditional, consistent love. Your love is true, honest, and holy, and it is never based on what we do or if we deserve Your love. You love us no matter what. Thank You. We seek You today and ask for Your help and ability to love others well, to see each other through Your eyes and not through our own. To be kind to each other, even when we don’t agree. Help us to put our differences aside and treat each other the way You want us to treat each other. Help us to be the kind of people who are full of compassion, kindness, and love for our fellow man. We can’t possibly love each other well without You, Lord. Help us to befriend each other and believe the best in each other. We love You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thank you for being my friend.
You make my world a better place, and I need your presence in my life. Thank you!
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