Sometimes helpful to see another perspective

Published on Friday, 28 June 2013 22:49 - Written by BY REBECCA HOEFFNER rhoeffner@tylerpaper.com

There’s nothing like seeing yourself from another person’s perspective for the first time.

In college, my university minister told our group to stop worrying so much about what people thought about us practicing our faith.

“You believe a man rose from the dead. Just accept that you are weird,” he said.

Bono, a Christian activist and lead vocalist in the band U2, repeated the sentiment this week in an interview with Focus on the Family, saying that Christians “need to be really, really respectful to people who find (the idea that Jesus is the son of God) ridiculous.”

It’s true. Faith is surprisingly strange when you think about it. We don’t realize how strange it is, when people who believe the same thing are the only ones who surround us.

It’s odd whenever people of faith ridicule each other’s beliefs. How can we question how they possibly believe the way they do, when ours seem just as strange to others?

The thing is, many Christians know they seem weird. They know their beliefs are hard to accept and improbable. But we can’t help but believe it; many believe that’s because God compels us to.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast,” the Apostle Paul wrote in the book of Ephesians.

But here’s why people who aren’t Christians deserve our respect: They’re just like us.

So the next time you are tempted to call the ideas of another faith “crazy,” or stare in disbelief whenever someone says that belief in God doesn’t make sense to them, think about how weird they must think you are. But that’s OK. Being different from one another doesn’t mean we have to be enemies.

We see the world more clearly when we spend time in someone else’s shoes.