Opinions, perceptions and thoughts are all functions of the mind that gives an individual a unique identity. These are formed based on what the mind is fed and frequently exposed to. At most times, we tend to bond more with others who share similar thoughts and give off same energy as ourselves. But what then happens with people who don’t exude the same energy as we do? Do we totally avoid their company?
Research has it that, individuals tend to bond with people who have similar qualities as themselves. Imagine the world lived solely on this principle where people only associate with their own kind. It will be funny how a lot of people would have to roam the world just to find their perfect match to either work with or get married to. A soul mate search indeed and a daunting task as well. Better still, everyone will perhaps remain single and even work alone. How interesting would it be?
This brings the concept of agreement into play. Agreement is the only principle that bridges the wide gap in our individual differences. It is upon this principle that healthy relationships are formed. Agreement in simple terms means ‘understanding’. In the area of marriage, it is one main sustaining factor of the union. Scripture states in Amos 3:3 that
‘Can two walks together, except they agree?’
The scripture above poses a question for reflection. ‘Walking together’ connotes an association or a mingling. In other words, ‘Can you associate with someone you barely know in understanding?
Our cultural, religious and family backgrounds make each distinct from the other. This is quite normal because everyone was raised and trained differently. There is beauty in agreement which places more value on relationships than individual differences. It is not ignorant of how different two people can be from each other, but it rather seeks to esteem their union through understanding despite their preferences.
We cannot do without offenses, one of the major causes of misunderstanding in every union. They are bound to come, and scripture emphasizes that in Matthew 18:7. It is how we handle them that matters. It is then obvious that the abrupt end of most unions is due to a lack of understanding between both partners.
When partners value their differences more than their union, they have no choice but to end what started on a beautiful note. Some perhaps even dare not start a relationship in the first place, not to talk of leading it anywhere. That is the extent to which people value their differences.
A thorough introspection would reveal that relationships are valuable, and we need each other to survive.
I remember how l never missed the hot political discussions before the elections every Monday morning at work. In fact, anyone who listened to us thought we could host a television show on politics. The zeal and passion we put into these conversations was something else. Before I knew it, I was tagged with the name ‘politician’ at work.
Months later, on my way to a gospel musical concert, I sat on the same bus with a work colleague who happened to be a part of the political fanatics at work. Since we were not talking politics, I told him about the program, and he agreed to join me. Interesting enough, my co-worker enjoyed the program so much and even gave his life to Christ there. I felt both excited and sad. Excited because he got born again but sad because I never knew he was not saved because I always thought he was.
The assumption that everyone is saved is quite relatable amongst close friends. Especially when everyone says they attend church on Sunday. I had the advantage of interacting with people at work, but I never mentioned God because I assumed they already knew him. Funny enough, it also never occurred to me in our heated conversations. Many of us share this same story. As believers, we have been given the power to witness to everyone both far and near. I believe Jesus knew this, and his words in Acts 1:8 reflects that our friends too must hear the gospel.
‘But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth’.
The apostles were in Jerusalem and Jesus’s words to them was explanatory and detailed. He told them where to start in telling people about him after they had received the power to do it. It’s as if he knew they were going to give excuses about not knowing what to say, thus he already made the capability to do the work available through the Holy spirit. Then he first mentioned Jerusalem as a start point before moving on to the bigger city Judea. This speaks a lot in our mandate as believers. The ability to tell others about Christ is through the Holy Ghost. Our immediate circle which is our friends and family should be our focus. Then we gradually make progression to other places with time.
Looking beyond our reach makes the task look cumbersome and leads to procrastination. Everyone needs to hear the gospel especially our friends. God is a whole topic for discussion too in our chit-chats. But I guess we always forget that with no reason.
When we concentrate on ourselves and our immediate environment, we are able to bear many fruits for the kingdom. How amazing it will be that everyone around us is deeply rooted in Christ and in the word of God and that we have conversations that end in Bible discussions!