We have not all experienced the same things in life and must be willing to let others tell their story as well. One-sided influences corrupt.

We must be willing to acknowledge the differences in our society. Difference is not a bad thing. It can add compassion and wisdom to your character.

Change has to happen before it will be a life-changing event for the person changing and for the people the change will influence.

We must be willing to allow growth in others to take form and be transformed by the Spirit. Any other way is manipulation.

Life experiences encourage the way we think and feel. For those who have never experienced or been a part of something that has hurt you or offended you, be thankful, but know the people who have been affected still carry wounds that may or may not have healed yet. Tender areas of life can be crushed by unsympathetic voices.

I choose to respect the differences we may have, and I am asking you to respect mine as well. In going forward and being encouraged, I appreciate those who are encouragers and care givers of others who are changing and growing in their lives.

Learning is a process, and we are not all on the same level in various areas of our lives. We have not arrived, and no one person knows it all. God is the omniscient one.

Social media can be harmful to the growth of the people who view your pages.

If I have offended you, it was not intentional. Just know I, too, am growing and changing, but there are things I have encountered as a Christian, and I know I still must forgive. I forgive you and I ask for your forgiveness as well.

Be encouraged.

Leatrice Pace of Rantoul writes a monthly column of encouragement. She may be reached at beencouragedbecouraged@yahoo.com.