This week: Interfaith RelationshipsEdited by: Lilli, the Coffee Elf ☕️
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Every day we may find ourselves with people of different faiths—someone at the grocery store, your doctor, a co-worker, or a fellow WdC member.
Having meaningful conversations about faith with others, even a good friend, can be tricky when you don’t share the same beliefs. There’s the potential for each of you to feel misunderstood, hurt, or offended. So what do you do? Avoid talking about faith? No! But if we a few follow simple guidelines we can discover that interfaith conversations can be inspiring and uplifting.
Interfaith friendships can be extremely rewarding. Through respectful conversations with people, you’ll get the chance to consider life from other perspectives. You may find that you have a lot more in common than you think. Here are just a few tips to help with the process.
Let your friend know you value friendship above all. Show genuine care for them and their perspective. Love is key.
Respect your friend’s beliefs, even if they are unfamiliar or don’t make sense to you. Avoid joking about their religious clothing, leaders, or traditions. How would you feel if someone said the same things about what you believe? Everyone deserves respect, and so do you.
Ask questions with an attitude of genuinely wanting to know more. Don’t just try to convert them to your point of view. Have an open mind. If you’re open to new ideas, you can find common ground in unexpected places.
Don’t be afraid to share something about who you are and what you believe. In times when you might be tempted to compromise your values, give a brief explanation about your faith and your true friends will actually respect you for standing up for your beliefs.
If you feel like your friend has said something insensitive, take a minute to listen to their point of view and collect your thoughts before you react. Try not to jump into the conversation and immediately get defensive of what you believe. Saying something hastily or out of anger can damage an otherwise great relationship. Sincere listening and understanding can go a long way.
Remember, having friends, or a spouse, from a different faith doesn't mean you must abandon your own belief system.
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