Honestly, there are times that I would like to surround myself with people who think like I think and believe like I believe. There would be no disagreements or conflicts. We could just go around high fiving each other day after day. It would be really nice, except that in that “bubble,” I would never grow. I would never be challenged. I would never learn things about others and who they are and why they think and believe like they do. I would become stagnant. Is it difficult at times to be around people that think differently than I do? Absolutely. Do I need to take time to be around others that think differently? Absolutely.
This is what I have learned. God created every one of us. God loves every one of us. Every person has value. When I spend time with people who are different, I learn from them. That does not mean that I change what I think or value or believe, but I understand them better. I am not as critical. When I take time to do this, I also open myself up to what God would do. It may be in my life, in the other person’s, or both. Is it difficult for you to be around people who are different? What if you stretched yourself a little bit and took a step toward one or more of these people? What do you have to lose? What could you gain? Most importantly, what could God do?