The Value of Us
Every healthy person I know would say there is value in having the influence of other people in their life. What people mean by this however, can be vastly different.
Many people see the value when it means having people that cheer them on. Others see the value in having people who are like-minded share ideas and thoughts amongst themselves. There are also people, although it is a smaller group, who enjoy friendships with people who see things differently than them, in order to see a different perspective.
These are all valuable and important relationships. Certainly none of them are bad, but there is another category I want to talk about.
Sometimes God will put people in our lives that we do not get along with, or we do not see eye to eye with. Our viewpoints on most topics are different and we even find conversations with them to be taxing or forced.
Even still, these relationships are extremely important. No, I am not a glutton for punishment, and no I don't believe meanness is a secret blessing. What I do believe is the we are meant to grow, and these types of relationships can be the ones that help us to grow the most.
James 1:2-4 says, Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
When someone is cheering me on, I want to believe it's true, so I am quick to accept their words as truth. When I see eye to eye on a topic with someone, I naturally see the strength in their argument, and will likely accept it as fact. When I get along with someone it's easy to see their perspective, and even if it's different than mine, see value in it.
When I am talking with someone that I don't naturally get along with, that I don't see eye to eye with, that I'm not sure if they're for me... this reveals some deeper truths about me. I know I'm supposed to love people even when they're different, do I? I know I'm supposed to serve others even when they aren't serving me, will I? I know I'm supposed see people as valuable even when I am unable to see the value plainly, can I?
There is incredible value to be found in community with others, whether in your church, your workplace, your community, or your home. Some of that value is found in the pressure and tension of these types of relationships.
My challenge to you is to consider how are you leaning into these types of connections. Do you write them off as odd, or misguided? Do you assume that you aren't meant to dialogue? Do you avoid them all together?
Maybe they won't ever be your closest friend or a trusted confidant, but maybe they will. One thing I know for sure, is they are not a mistake, and their presence in your life is not a coincidence. So what are you going to do about it?