For the majority of Christians, the people we share our lives with — our friends and family — will predominantly share your faith. This is absolutely natural; we are influenced by the people around us and the company that we keep, which means that clustering with those who understand our devotion is always the most comfortable and convenient of situations.
However, there is a lot to be said from maintaining friendships with people who don’t share your faith– either because they follow another faith, or no faith at all. In fact, you may find these friendships beneficial on a social level, but also a spiritual one. If you choose to spend some of your time with people who don’t share your faith, you will come to understand the following…
1) Faiths agree more than they disagree
Throughout history, faiths have been pitted against one another; the claiming of different gods, saviors, and disagreements over basic tenets of faith have been a mainstay of human history.
However, if you spend time with people of other faiths, you will be surprised to discover just how much you have in common. Even if you don’t believe the same core things, you do share a devotion to religion; a belief in the unknown; a willingness to try and live your life in the service of a higher power. These fundamentals will allow you to bond and form friendships; even if you differ on some subjects, your general attitude to life will unite you.
2) You will learn to express your faith more
There is a saying that is pertinent to this discussion: “preaching to the converted”. If you predominantly spend your time around people who follow the same faith as you, much of your discussions about faith will indeed be “preaching to the converted”.
If you spend time with people of other faiths, your beliefs will be discussed, challenged, debated, and examined in a way you may not have experienced before. This is, ultimately, an incredibly rewarding experience; as you seek to answer the questions of others, you will answer questions for yourself, too. Discussing your faith with those who do not follow your faith will solidify and improve your own spiritual relationship, as well as potentially make a difference to others as well.
3) The beauty of other faiths
Faith, regardless of denomination, is a beautiful thing– but so many of us only experience the beauty within our own faith. If you pursue friendships with people of other faiths, then you have the opportunity to learn more about the beauty they use to celebrate their own beliefs. Some of these celebrations will be incredibly unusual for you; from attending seder dinners to choosing to visit Discount Catholic Products to discover pyxes, there’s a whole world of tradition and celebration that you have never experienced before.
As well as being a genuinely stimulating learning experience, acknowledging this beauty in other faiths will allow you to see your own faith through new eyes. You will appreciate all the little touches, the little moments, that might otherwise pass you by as they have become standardized to you– and the journey of rediscovery is an incredibly positive one.
Exploring friendships with people of other faiths can benefit your life beyond measure, and is definitely worth exploring should you have the opportunity.