I Can Get Along With Just About Anyone

Posted on September 20, 2011 by


 I have been accused of being many things in my life, but never wishy washy or lacking in conviction. Particularly on matters of faith. Still, since I entered the arena of blogging, I have on several occasions, found myself having to defend the fact that I can appreciate the good in and get along with, just about everyone. Yes, even those who do not believe in the Bible or in God the way that I do (gasp!) Heathens, pro-choicers, liberals, you name it. I can get along with them all, even if I think their views are seriously misguided. Jesus did so why, I figure, shouldn’t I? One of the things that makes blogging interesting, the free flow and exchange of ideas, can also become problematic for those wholly uninterested in others’ points of view.

 

Blogging has with it built in blessings and curses. One of the blessings is that you can quickly connect with people like you. People who share your ideas and values and affirm virtually everything you post with a hearty and enthusiastic “AMEN!” One of the curses is that you can quickly connect with people like you. People who share your ideas and values and affirm virtually everything you post with a hearty and enthusiastic “AMEN!” While I admit that I enjoy the camaraderie of interacting with women who are on an increasingly rare path with me as full time wives and mothers, I refuse to only be open to interaction with those who think like, agree with, and live like me. Overexposure to your own voice is deadly to the person who wants to grow as a human being.

In the four years since I started blogging,  have been accused of trying to “buddy up” to unbelievers and those hostile to our faith. I’ve been cautioned about being unequally yoked. I have also come to understand that engaging in conversations on certain blogs probably isn’t the wisest thing to do, swallowed the hard truth like a big girl and changed course. I’m not saying that every rebuke has been the unwarranted rantings of an overly sensitive Christian. But in my opinion, most of them have. This brings me to the question. What’s wrong with having an open mind and more importantly, an open heart when engaging other people?

I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with occasionally visiting the blogs of those who faithfully read and support mine, even if the author is an unbeliever. And if they make a good point, I’ll say so. I’ll also say when I think they are wrong, and they can do the same thing on my blog so long as it’s done respectfully. I don’t view online relationships as being yoked together with anyone. There are a select few ladies with whom I have regular email communication and in those cases, I am well aware of the need for caution, which is why it’s only a select group. Here’s the thing with me, however: As long as my beliefs are respected, you don’t have to agree with me to be my friend!! Really!! Don’t ask me to back down from what I believe, respect that I am a follower of God as revealed in the Bible, and we’ll get along just fine, whether or not you ever believe.

I don’t make a habit of spending extraordinarily large amounts of time with people who doesn’t respect my beliefs, but an occasional meet over a cup of coffee every now and then where we talk about those interests we share seems fine to me. And of course, I’d always be praying for my friend. That’s the way I see it, and the way I see interactions online. I have found that friendships can develop in the most unlikely ways, in the most unlikely places, and between the most unlikely people if given the chance.

This is something I consider quite often. I respect the need for caution with regard to who we choose to engage and more importantly, spend time with. The  Bible admonishes us that bad company corrupts good morals. I am equally convinced that we are not translate that in such a way that everyone who is not like us should be branded “unclean” and avoided.

It seems what we have here is an ability to live life in a balanced, open way. Polarization is the order of the day in America and I am certain that it is incompatible with evangelizing.

This post was originally published on my defunct blogger site, Ornaments of Grace. The 100 or so comments, which somehow vanished into the ether, were so biased against my position that  I was contacted by an appalled reader  who asked permission to post this rebuttal on my blog.