I've come a long way. I used to have a lot of strong beliefs and opinions. I thought I was unshakeable. I thought that I had the truth and that it would save me.  Then those questions started popping up. I started down the scary road of change. 

I'm talking about my personal faith journey here, but people can change in about a million different ways. 

I had believed that a lot of people on earth were certain to go to hell and that alcohol, smoking, cussing, hanging out with non christians, and listening to heavy rock music were wrong and  dangerous. That those things were even evil. 

Man I've come a long way! HA! 

My point isn't to justify what I believe now, but to be able to confidently and respectfully say that this is what I believe now. Because of my oppressive and condemning Pentecostal Christian upbringing, I missed so much of God's love. I missed opportunities for relationships with people that were cool. I stayed away because they were sinners. God would show them one day. I would stand strong. 

But as I grew older I realized that I was just standing more and more by myself.  My faith wasn't a resource for people but just a judgment I would put on people. 

I didn't like myself. I didn't like how angry my God was. I didn't like that some people got the good eternity and some didn't with no chance of redemption.  

I realized that I wouldn't wish eternal burning in fire on my worst enemy or even the worst person that ever lived.  I did wish for redemption though. Why couldn't I be here as a friend? Why couldn't I believe that there was actually hope for everyone? And not just based on what I believed and getting others to believe that,  but redemption based on an agape love filled God? 

People change. We all do.  

So the goal isn't to be mad at people who haven't gotten to where you are but to be a bridge builder.  We need to slowly and carefully build bridges. 

You got a mom that thinks drinking is a sin. Take it easy on her. She doesn't understand and might be worried about you. Tell her you understand and can see where she's coming from.  You respect her and can honor her but within that honor and respect you won't lie either. You're okay with drinking alcohol now. Might be the first miracle Jesus did in your life too! It's not against her or your God. It's just something you've thought about and learned about and now are at a new place with.  If it becomes a problem you know she would be there for you.  

This might be a bad example, but the point is respect. If we honor a person's journey, we have a chance to build bridges instead of burning them.  

A new bridge seems scary at first. But if you're careful and take your time, people with see it's trustworthy. They will use it to get to the other side.