Last week my friend asked me, "How do you, as a religious person, deal with your friends who choose not to associate with any religion?" I responded to her with one word, "respect." Let me back this up with a little context, I have not always been a religious person. Over the last few years, my faith has become the most important thing in my life but, dang, has it been a journey. Part of this journey is that when trying to grow in my faith, I had many of closest friends disagree with my thoughts about Jesus. All I could think to do was try to convince them that they were wrong about their own beliefs. It caused many fights, tears and even some ended friendships. I wasn't perfect, and I am still not.
After a lot of prayer, I realized it wasn't their fault for not wanting to align their faith to mine but rather it was a fault of mine for not learning to respect their different beliefs.
Back to the word of respect. For our world to properly coexist, we must learn to respect each other's differences, and this starts with the people closest to you.
I am really happy that my friend texted me because it has really sparked my thinking for the subject all over again. In conclusion, learning to respect people differences especially when you're very passionate about the subject can be hard, but is has been one of the most rewarding practices I have placed in my life.