It is nice to be surrounded by likeminded people. As human beings, it is natural for us to desire being around those who think like we do. There’s nothing wrong with that. God placed in our hearts a need for community so that we would not live in isolation.
However, we also come across people who we respect, but don’t agree with. In this case, we have two options: Disassociate with them and remain in our own echo chamber or put aside political differences and welcome each other’s friendship.
Now let’s go even further. What happens when you discover that your closest friend of many years is on the other side of an issue you deeply care about? What if the majority of your co-workers support a proposed piece of legislation that you oppose or vice versa?
What if, on a hot-button issue, you don’t see eye to eye with a relative or maybe even with your entire family?
There will come a time in your life where you will be confronted with two options: Become a member of the tide or stand alone as a master of your convictions. Believe me, it is a very difficult decision. To disagree with the people in your life is not a rejection of them. Rather it is a test of how you will handle times of controversy and opposition. Unfortunately, people will misunderstand you. Our society is so divided that disagreement is often perceived as a personal attack. You may be shunned at work, lose a friend, or have your loyalty questioned by your family; these are the realities of going against the grain.
God tests us in this way to see whether we are ruled by fear or courage. He wants to see if we will go along with the opinions of others for the sake of keeping the peace or if we will be bold enough to follow our conscience when it contradicts the conventional narrative. He places these challenges in our lives to know if He can count on us to stand up for His Word, even if it means being a lone advocate.
We are all pilgrims passing through this life. Our souls were made for Heaven, not earth. At the end of our lives, we will stand before God. You will face Him and so will I. He will have many questions for us; one of those questions will be this:
“Did you stand with the world or did you stand with Me?”
What will your answer be?
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.”
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”
―Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Saint Bernadette Soubirous, pray for us.