Yesterday at Food and Faith someone said something that I found really interesting and stuck with me. They said that it is much easier for a relationship to work when we agree with each other. Simple, I know, but they expanded on the implications of that truth with how we just inherently feel uncomfortable with people who disagree with us.
Like, we feel uncomfortable with people who perhaps have a very strong and different viewpoint from us on things like religion, politics, or how you should raise your kids. We feel uncomfortable with people who we don’t agree with when it comes to climate change issues, national land disputes, or gender equality. We feel uncomfortable with people who don’t live the way we think they should live, or think the way we don’t think they should think, or even decorate their skin the way we can’t believe anyone would.
All this disagreeing has put up walls between us, separating us from seeing each other as who we truly are: children of God, loved into being, and forgiven into community with God and all the saints.
We see Moses getting fed up with people who he doesn’t agree with, Paul convincing a very works-based community that there is such thing as grace, and Jesus explaining to a Samaritan woman that she isn’t a product of her labels (like Samaritan or woman). All this disagreeing caused friction, tension, and other -ion words that mean friction and/or tension.
But in the middle of it, there is God extending a hand of grace. There is God tearing down the walls. There is God reaching out and revealing to all that even in spite of disagreement, there is value and worth and that they all matter.
This isn’t to say that we aren’t allowed to disagree or have opinions. But it is to say that even when we don’t see eye-to-eye, that shouldn’t mean that we cannot be in the same room with each other. Even when we can’t even fathom the viewpoint of another, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to work together for a common and greater good. Even when we can’t stand the thought of another person because we just can’t seem to agree with them, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t just as loved as we are by the God who created the universe.
We won’t always all get along. That will go against our very nature. But we can always remember that we are unique, we are loved, and we all, by God’s grace, very much matter in the great grand scheme of things. This helps us to love in return, motivates us to serve, and gives us the space and permission to be us, flaws and disagreements and all.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!