Recently I have noticed a bumper sticker with the word COEXIST on it written in symbolic letters representing different genders, religions and beliefs. The first couple of times I saw it, I tried to figure out the symbols, but then I saw it on three more cars in the same day. This made me think. Is it possible to truly coexist? It is my hope that those who know me see that I try to live my faith and beliefs. But what if my faith and beliefs disagree with yours? Can we work together or be friends? Can we respect one another and our differences? The answer is yes.
I will not compromise to be your friend, but I’m mature enough to agree to disagree. Actually, I will respect you if you live your beliefs even if I disagree with you. At least you are being consistent and true to yourself.
I might share with you my beliefs and invite you to make them yours, but don’t take them unless you are really going to live them. Be yourself don’t lose your self trying to be my friend or anything special to someone else.
There are people very close to me who disagree with my political views. Over the last several months of election and change of administration, we have had several conversations about politics and the priorities of each party. We bantered back and forth several times making various points that made the other think a little, but neither changed sides.
Coexisting with different beliefs spiritually or politically is one thing among friends or co-workers, but it’s a whole other issue when it’s a dating relationship. I do believe that a couple needs to have similar spiritual beliefs to make a relationship work. Relationships are hard. Marriage is a blast, but has its challenging moments. In those times – those seasons – that aren’t all chocolates, roses and googly eyes, you have to have a belief system that follows the same guides. Otherwise, when it comes time to figure it out, one of you is going to come at the problem from one side and the other from a whole other direction. If your convictions are weak, you may cave in. When you do that, you are losing part of your self.
My encouragement to you is to respect others and accept them where they are. But don’t get sucked into believing something you have no good reason to believe. Do your own research and choose your beliefs wisely – be it moral, spiritual or political beliefs.
All the best,