Living amongst people with different ideologies, convictions and lifestyles has always been one of man’s greatest struggle.
Countless riots, fights and broken relationships have stemmed from the fact that we have different values and convictions and are ready to give up anything for the course.
While it is good to stand for a worthy cause, it is also important to be able to live with people who do not agree with you on that.
As a Christian, as much as you’d love everyone to see the beauty of your lifestyle and adopt it, not everyone will, so you must find ways to live with people regardless.
If you’ve been in that position before, then you’ll agree with me that it is easier said than done. Two things usually go wrong.
i) You can “hold on” so much to your faith and end up making enemies with everyone who shows any difference.
ii) You can become ashamed of being different and in a bid to be like “them”, end up compromising.
First of all, you’d have to understand that it’s perfectly okay to be different. Your difference creates your uniqueness. Don’t be under pressure to conform.
Deliver yourself from the pressure to become a certain kind of way.
Doing this will require wisdom and balance and that’s why I’m sharing a few helpful tips on how to maintain your faith (as a Christian) and still live in peace with people of different faith.
PS: This doesn’t just apply to living with people of different faith. It also applies to living with people who seemingly are Christians too but lack depth or have gross nonchalance for things of God. (Living with this category of people can be frustrating too).
i) Know who you believe.
Your knowledge of God is really tested in times like this. You must have a personal knowledge of God and not depend on what you’ve heard people say about Him. Spend time with Him and get to know Him for yourself.
ii) Have Values and stick to them.
If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
Your values refer to your morals, belief systems and convictions. Be clear to yourself on what is acceptable to you and what is not. Do not just go with the flow. Values like the songs you listen to, the kind of language you speak (in terms if vulgar words and all), the kinds of jokes you make, etc.
Be unapologetic about your love for Christ.
This does not mean you should be rigid and not relatable. You must be able to strike a balance. That leads me to the next point.
iii) You’re still human.
You may sustain superior understanding but it doesn’t make you Lord over other people. Be careful not to act like a god amongst them. You can maintain your values and still be free, relatable, friendly and welcoming.
iv) Let your life preach.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
Your lifestyle is the biggest influence on people around you. People can learn a whole lot by just watching you. You have to reflect the Character of Christ through godly virtues.
You can not be a malice keeping, proud person and expect people to think well of you. You’re misrepresenting Christ. Be different, in that, you can tolerate any kind of flaw in a person (because you’re definitely going to encounter people with all kinds).
And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.
Romans 5:4 AMPC
Lastly, for special cases where the people in question are deliberately trying to frustrate you and your faith, you must be careful in your dealings with them. The Bible says that Wisdom is profitable to direct. Listen to the voice of wisdom (God) in you.
Show love to them, forbear and care for them but never be apologetic about your faith. Don’t get upset when they make efforts to annoy you. That way, you’ll be frustrating them right back.
Everyone acts from their level of understanding. You don’t get upset at a child for saying gibberish. Why should you be upset when people with shallow understanding act and talk that way?
Your silence will be required in many cases and a smile will be a great response to many sarcasms.
If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Romans 12:18 NKJV
I hope these tips help every Christian in this dilemma.
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