Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I know that obedience to our parents is very important. What if a whole family thinks in a different way than one person in this family? For example, if one person is simple or does not think bad of people or does not believe in envy and the rest of the family just thinks everyone is not to be trusted and all that.

Obeying one's parents is an attitude of respect and reverence. Your thoughts and understandings do not have to be identical. We are uniquely and individually created and not manufactured by a copy machine. If your responses to the elders in the family are polite and respectful, there will be no reason for a lack of harmony amongst you. Sometimes, the younger generation desperately tries to convince the older generation of their new perspective. Unfortunately, this method often fails. Everyone is too set in his/her ways and there is sometimes a fear factor that interferes. Rather, if you learn to take the best from all sides while refraining from criticism of the old ways, and still not being offended when you are criticized regarding the more contemporary ways, you will gain them more, grow in spiritual maturity, and have a well-balanced perspective, neither too simple, nor too rigid. If God has increased your awareness in a particular topic, this is a gift. Share your knowledge and insight in a discreet and loving manner when the opportunity arises, and do not impose your opinion on others especially if they are not ready to accept it.

"He who holds possessions as the gifts of God ... and knows that what he possesses is for the sake of others is blessed by God and poor in spirit" (St. Clement of Alexandria).

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