Right after Christmas I started to put my kids on the bus. With some short exceptions, I hadn’t done that much in their school careers. But I no longer felt that driving them to school and back again was worth my time and the best choice for them. The bus stop was in our yard so it was in a safe place. The door handles on our minivan were literally cracking and breaking from overuse. And my kids needed some opportunities to figure out how to navigate life in an unstructured environment. I figured the 10-minute bus ride would give them that chance.
So I began to bring them to the bus stop and started to chat with the other adults who come. Two were not very talkative. But one woman began to talk with me. She was cheerful and kind and it was so nice to see her smile each morning. I found out she is a believer in Jesus Christ, too. But when she told me what her church background was, I thought, “she may be believer…but she is wrong about many points of doctrine.”
That same week, One: Unity in a Divided World by Deidra Riggs came in the mail. Diedra Riggs writes about unity and oneness within the body of Christ in addition to other life contexts.
Early on in the book, I read:
Jesus didn’t say, “I have come that they may be right.”
Ouch. I was convicted by that. I was more concerned about being right in my brand of Christianity when making a new friend as opposed to respecting her journey and her story. I should have been focusing on what Jesus had prayed in the garden just before he went to the cross. John 17 says “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”
Diedra Riggs delves further into this idea of oneness. “Oneness is not about conforming. Oneness is about transforming.”
Christians aren’t all going to look the same. And I still think we need all kinds of churches to reach all kinds of people. But when I meet other Christians, I need to respect them as a person first and respect their journey with Christ and where they are right now.
I’m so thankful that I read this book early in my friendship so I could change my focus. I have only known her a short time, but I since I have stopped prioritizing my desire to be right and started focusing on our common love for Christ, I have been encouraged by her testimony and her evident love for the Lord.
[Note: This post contains Amazon.com affiliate links. Read disclosure policy here.]