Accepting Beliefs That We Disagree With


How would one go about learning to respect other people's faith as valuable, and doing it sincerely? I feel an almost pathological contempt for christians and would like to know how I might frame their faith in a more accepting way.

—james, us


Dear James,

It might be helpful to try to view other people primarily as souls rather than personalities.

Knowing that each soul, has as its ultimate destiny, the return to its oneness in God, gives us the ability to gain perspective when there’s a striking contrast of viewpoints or lifestyles.

Our compassion needs to be for others in terms of their essence, as a child of God, even when at times we cannot agree with their beliefs or behavior.

It’s said that a sign of maturity is being able to relate to other people’s realities, with their natures as they are, and not trying to force them into a mold of one’s own making. It doesn’t mean we need to agree with those views of realities but rather we have the compassion and understanding to accept those views as real, at least to that other person. Do your best to simply appreciate the positive aspects of other people’s faith. There’s no need, however, to get caught in other people’s dogmatism!

One powerful way to grow in acceptance of others is to send healing prayers to those we feel in conflict with. Ananda’s Healing Prayer Ministry has some very inspiring and helpful tools to aid in this process.

As a side note – You may be interested in reading Swami Kriyananda’s book, Revelations of Christ, Proclaimed by Paramhansa Yogananda, which gives a very deep understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Blessings on your journey,
Nayaswami Pranaba