5 Reasons to Make Friends Who Are Different From You

Written by on June 28, 2021

Here are five benefits to know someone different than you:

1. Serve better

As already mentioned, one benefit of knowing those who are not just like you is that we benefit from a variety of gifts in the body. God intentionally did not make us all the same. God has given each of us spiritual gifts according to His great wisdom (Rom. 12:6).

The purposes of these gifts aren’t so that we can flaunt them or keep them for our own good. Just the opposite (12:3)—the purpose of spiritual gifts is for the benefit of others. By knowing those who are not like us, we learn to serve others with the varied gifts God has given us for their benefit and their good.

2. A taste of heaven now

Heaven will be filled with people from Indonesia, Dubai, Zambia, the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee, and the Grand Cayman Islands. Worshipping on the last day will be people speaking French, German, Spanish, English, Tagalog, and Arabic. And today we can get a foretaste of heaven when we step out of our comfort zones to get to know someone, not like us.

3. Edification

Along with a variety of gifts, we all have a variety of experiences. Life doesn’t look the exact same for every person. Unless someone gets to know me they’d never know that I traveled abroad, played the flute or that I have had four miscarriages.

God can use the experiences of others to encourage our faith, help us make decisions, or provide comfort. God’s Word is filled with Scriptures encouraging us to build one another up. The Lord may just use that person who is not like you to bring the unique comfort you need from Him.

4. Racial reconciliation

There’s a rumor that we are post-racial, but the reality is not only are we not past racial divides, but we also continue to hear about division, racism, and tragic circumstances involving race throughout the country.

Knowing others who are not like you is one way to display to the world that in Christ we are the same. The Gospel unifies us and is what the Lord uses to bring racial reconciliation. We are all made equally in the image of God, and when we display the unity found throughout Scripture, it speaks of the power of the Gospel to make us united.

5. Gain understanding and wisdom

Have you ever heard the term “ignorance is bliss”? It means that what we don’t know won’t hurt us. We can live unaware and unscathed by that which we don’t know. But when relating to others, ignorance is not bliss, it’s just plain old ignorance.

Instead of remaining unknowing, we should instead strive to gain understanding through developing relationships with those not like us.

God intentionally created us uniquely. He could have made us all exactly the same. He had the power to do that. Instead, He chose to create us each by name and with great thought (Psalm 139:13). He even delights over those He created (Zephaniah 3:17). And He puts us all together to learn and grow from one another—diversity and difference are one of His gifts to us.

Source: Relevant Magazine

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