Loneliness and Friendship in the Faith
I have been asking a question
that is relevant to my current situation in life. That question is this:
Can two individuals have a deep and meaningful friendship while holding values and morality standards that are opposite of each other? I want to say yes. It sounds like the right thing to say because no one wants to seem “set in their ways” or unreasonably rigid.
I have heard a few different responses to the question. Some people said a wholehearted YES! Others thought a surface level friendship was possible. And others said no. (You can skip to end of this post to view some of the responses.) I’m sure personality and openness have something to do with it.
But I wonder about it, because we live in a multi-cultural society. There are so many opinions, beliefs, and thoughts out there. Acceptance is kind of a key ideal for our society; religious freedom and all that. But there are lifestyles, beliefs, and religions that overtly oppose each other. Where do Hebrews fit into this culture of blended lifestyles? Do we keep to ourselves in order to stay “set apart”? Or do we venture out to build relationships and make a difference among those around us?
Some us don’t have consistent Hebrew fellowship where we live. Because of that, I find that it can be a struggle to make and maintain personal relationships with likeminded people.
It can get lonely out there. But I honestly don’t know how to become very close when my values aren’t mutually held. And that sounds selfish. And maybe it is. But it seems to me that most people, even the most acceptant, seem to build community with people who share the same beliefs and lifestyles; even if that’s not the sole reason for the relationship. Does that make sense?
Lately, I have felt so strongly about my identity as a Hebrew. I want to share that with others.
As I get older, my worldview keeps shifting from American to more Hebraic. The more I feel out of place in America, the more I feel isolated from those who feel at home here. The more I learn about my convictions and values and why I hold them, the more I feel like I don’t belong.
Our beliefs are reflective of who we are, our identity. I think that’s why things like religion and politics fire us up so. Believing in Yahweh is a huge part of my identity.
I do believe it is important to be active in our communities. We aren’t supposed to cover our candles with baskets. Differences can bring new perspectives and edifying challenges.
But being different can be tiring, too. I feel slightly foreign a lot of times, even though I was born here. In feeling foreign, however, a deep passion for my Hebrew heritage has emerged. It really makes me long for Yeshua’s return. Like I haven’t before.
Can you have a deep, meaningful friendship with someone whose core values are opposite of yours?
“Some of my closest friends have very different beliefs than I do. But I have found that as long as we have some core common ground that our foundation is built on, we can stay close and have a strong friendship. However, I wouldn’t consider someone who flies in the face of everything I believe in as someone who I would even desire to develop that deep of a level of friendship with. But sometimes you can learn a lot from people who are different, and you can help and support them in other ways….”
– Annalise Braught
“I’d say, from my own experience, it is possible. And not to make this long, id also say this: Yahweh has a way of placing people in your life and you have no idea what that could mean. The way I see it, I want to be there for people and you have no way of knowing how your influence might affect a person. Yahshua is our example and He was a light to those who did see the Torah the way it was meant to be seen. He healed sinners and because of that, they turned their hearts to Him. In the same way, I believe that’s my purpose.”
– Jen Comfort
“…You can have friendships with people who have opposing views but for the most part your friendship with that person can only go so far, otherwise you may compromise in your values.”
– Nathan Braught
“Well, belief in my Creator gives my life meaning and is my motivation for many things I do in life. Majority of my life revolves around such ideals based on a biblical way of living. I might connect with a person on an artistic level like with music, or maybe a political level. However, my idea of deep, mutual friendship(s) includes accountability in my way of living, not just in emotional relations with others, and that way of living is defined by my beliefs. I generally think this would be true of those who are firmly rooted in their faith. I don’t think faith is a “hobby” that gets put on the back burner when interacting with others in a more than superficial manner. There can be shared experiences that one can have with others who have completely different world-views, but a friendship based on accountability, uplifting and positive interactions and a general “shouldering” of one another’s burdens would be difficult outside of strictly moral and cultural shared views…”
– Micaela Avalos
Short answer: No. If Yahweh is the core of why you do everything, having a “deep” friendship with someone who is not somewhat like minded will only be service deep. However I believe Having a “meaningful” friendship should the definition of every friendship you have.
– Tim Kerr