I've told several people this story over the years, and even though it's been 10 years since it happened, I still get a little choked up. It's one of those "I wish I had..." memories. The memory of a regret that I can do nothing about, except learn from it.
The day I graduated from college, I remember sitting on the corner of my bed and crying. It had sort of hit me all in one moment that I had sacrificed something in college for the sake of something else. See, there had been a turning point for me religiously, if you will, the end of my freshman year, where God had changed my heart in regard to a certain Biblical doctrine. After this change, I started to separate myself from the friends I had up to that point, merely because they were on the opposite side of the fence in this doctrinal issue. My excuse was simply that I wanted to associate with like minded people, have deeper conversations, etc. But reflecting upon it three years later, I knew I had been wrong.
The newfound belief was good; I believed it with all of my heart. But in reality, I was judging my friends for not having the kind of knowledge I had. And I started to see them not as people to love and grow with, to toss ideas around with, to challenge, to encourage; I saw them as getting in the way of my own growth, and I saw them in some ways as lower than myself spiritually, because they hadn't come to the same revelation.
And more than that, I realized I had elevated a personal conviction above my love for Jesus. My life was more about the conviction itself, and less about Jesus; spreading my love for Jesus, and obeying His call to love God, love others, and go make disciples.
more to come....