by Nancy Seibert

The Good Faith study was both challenging and motivating. Sometimes our little group’s faith position was strengthened and solidified and other times we were asking ourselves how we had missed such a simple truth? We appreciated the flow of the study guide and practical application sections like the one on page 31 – Steps to a Better Conversation. We tested these suggestions against our on-going dialogue with millennial family members, relatives of different cultural backgrounds, neighbors who belong to other faith traditions, our adult children who define Christian life differently than we do, and believers who hold political affiliations contrary to our own. I learned it’s not easy for wisdom to flow.

We discussed the fact that Christ-followers are now in the minority and the importance of reaching out to those in our sphere of influence who are different than we are. We were challenged to love people individually and to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading into deeper relationship with them. Intentional interactions with folks who are not Christ followers became a bigger and bigger imperative for me along the way. I am not a natural people-person, but this study has reinforced God’s will for me to interact with others in a way that relationships can have a chance. For example, I have a Muslim neighbor who weekly studies the Quran. I hug her whenever I see her now because I am happy to be her friend. I ask questions and we discuss our religious commitments while our dogs frolic and play together nearby.

Sometimes it takes courage to be inclusive and charitable to the people who are in front of us. We can grow and challenge ourselves to turn from being judgmental, apathetic and self-protective. Since God’s intention is to save the lost and hopeless, heal the sick, and bind up the wounds of the broken-hearted, I want to cooperate with His plan. I am depending on Him for more generosity as I take action. He is good!