When I was in college, all my friends were Democrats, except for one roommate, who was a member of the Young Republicans club on campus. But we were still friends, and in fact he was in my wedding. For the past four decades I have worked in a religious environment described as a “Conservative Resurgence” where friends were fired or pressured to resign, in fact, some of my best friends, disappeared almost overnight. But they were still my friends and continue to be so today. Over the years I have had philosophical differences with friends, but we remain friends. In all these areas, I never thought differences were big enough to cost me a friendship. Let me state it another way – to me friendships are more valuable than agreements. Thomas Jefferson said it best, “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.” Part of the secret comes in “bearing with one another” (Colossians 3:13). So, put down your cell phones, sign out of your social networks, and look for friendship. It may be closer than you think.
Dr. Dan Crawford, Senior Professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, is the WestCoast Baptist Association’s Spiritual Life & Leadership Mentor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DrDanRC and Facebook www.facebook.com/dan.crawford.