Tom is a good friend—he has been for forty years.
We attended high school together, and frequently argued about democracy. Back then, he was on one side of the political fence—I was on the other.
During the years following high school, Tom and I settled in different parts of the country and lost touch.
But with the advent of social media, we reconnected a few years back. Not surprisingly, Tom is still on that side while I’m on this side. At times, he even makes comments (always appropriate) on my Facebook page after reading my blog.
When it comes to politics there is very little that Tom and I agree upon, and we tell each other so. But there is one thing about our relationship that I see lacking in so many others—respect.
I won’t say that Tom and I never had a heated argument, but I can tell you we never called each other names or made threats.
When Tom and I have radically different points of view, I am happy to listen to his since he always listens to mine.
Unfortunately, I don’t see much of this in society today. Realizing that we aren’t always going to agree, we need to come to grips with a fact we like to ignore—we all have a right to our own view, and that’s okay.
Saying the point of view is okay does not mean that offensive or even threatening comments are. In a society where freedom is the unchallenged right of every American, we still have a duty to respect one another.
In several of my blogs, I have voiced an opinion that raises the ire in some with opposing views. Some of those individuals have commented on the blog, and when those comments are respectful, I listen. I am not always right, and I will read and consider opposing points of view to learn from them. Some of you have even changed my opinion on an issue.
But even though that’s true, we must remember that when it comes to Christ, he is the only way—there aren’t two sides to that fence. We can have branches of government that fight each other, but there aren’t two different paths to salvation. There’s only one.
Tom and I agree on the really important stuff—like God.