A few weeks ago I wrote about the blessings of friendship.
But sometimes friendship is hard. Sometimes friends end up on the other side of the political or moral fence. Sometimes friends make choices that God didn’t intend for them to make.
The news this week reminds me that being a good friend doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything the other person says or does, or believes. But it also doesn’t mean I look the other way with a shrug of my shoulders and say, “Well I don’t agree personally, but if it makes you happy…”.
A quote attributed to Rick Warren says, “You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate”.
Jesus didn’t condemn the woman caught in adultery. But He didn’t look the other way, either. He said, “Go and sin no more”. (John 8:11)
There are bloggers and commentators and religious people of influence filling the airwaves and internet with laments and dismay and doubts about the moral future of our country. And I don’t necessarily disagree with them. But it won’t be political discourse that changes hearts.
Maybe it will be friendships.
Maybe it will be friendships that don’t compromise, friendships that stay the course even when the opposing convictions are strong.
There’s a difference between conviction and condemnation. And while I’ll never condemn my friends, I hope that they’ll see that my convictions are based on my faith in God and my aching desire to see them walk fully in His will.
I can’t be a light in their lives if I’m not in their lives.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. 2 Corinthians 1:12 (NIV)
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:17
For this reason, we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9-10