When one encounters a life-changing good, one wants to share it with others. My desire to write this very blog was a result of a spiritual awakening that began for me a couple of years ago. Advocating for one’s beliefs, though, eventually one will come face-to-face with differing opinions.

Some of those opinions one can reject outright. They are self-defeating ideologies, ones that are based upon logical fallacies. But some of them are very sincere, and held by individuals who have had spiritual awakenings just as profound as your own. In a moment such as this, you must decide whether you are going to respect the similarities, or be repulsed by the differences. In my experience, respect is the far more gratifying path.

This world seems to struggle with that notion, though. Saying that I respect someone that I disagree with, is construed as meaning that I wholeheartedly agree with them. We have lost the ability to have different opinions, and still think the world of one another.

With this study I would like to examine how we can maintain our convictions, while also showing respect to others. I will also consider why it is important to hold to our differences, and not just try to blend every belief system into one. Along the way we will examine how Jesus treated those of different faiths, such as the people of Samaria.

In the meantime, I would love to hear about your own experiences reconciling spiritual differences with friends and family. Have you ever found it a struggle to not get emotionally involved in the differences? What has helped you to be able to focus on the good in everyone? Has it ever challenged you to meet a member of a different faith who adhered to your own commandments better than you do?

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