I don’t know about you, but I had always had strong opinions about things. In school, I loved debating on various topics and voicing my opinion on many issues. I was never, what you call a “free spirit”. I needed a plan and if there was no plan, I had some strong opinions about them. I towed the line or stayed away from it all together. I always felt compelled to let anyone and everyone know what my point of view was, no matter if I was asked or not. So, in my earlier years I did not have many friends. What is surprise right? And the friends I did have, loved me, but knew they had to keep things from me because of my very strong opinions. I did not know then that my views would hinder my growth in different areas, but then again, in my opinion, I thought I was just fine. Who knew that high opinions could sometimes lead you to sinful situations.
“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So, then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore, let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” Romans 14:10-13
Most of us value the opinions of others while others could care less. And to be honest, both are right ways to go. I had often, in my family and friendships heard many opinions on what I should do, where I should go, what I should look like, and who I should be with. Have you heard these things too? At times the noise of others can drown out your own voice and thinking. We can easily find ourselves wondering who we really are when spending so much time trying to fulfill the opinions of others. We all like getting applause and high fives, but many of us cannot stand to live in the quiet moments. That’s when the only opinion that matters is your own, but what do you do if you do not have one?
“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Proverbs 18:2
Having opinions about people can be a slippery slope. In this critical time of #metoo and the right to live freely in any form, and people saying whatever they want all the time; tends to bring about many strong and often controversial opinions. The divide between Christ teachings and the world preaching’s have a way of driving a huge wedge in bringing more unbelievers into the church. And this is where opinions can make us turn toward sinful living instead of faithful giving.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
In closing, I had to realize that all my lofty opinions did not always equal positive feedback. I know now that the way I felt about situations and people did not always carry many “AMENS”. Trying to keep my own emotions, insecurities, faith, and self-worth in check is a full-time job, and telling people what I think about things is not my job to do. Loving others, showing unbelievers Christ through my ways, and offering encouragement is what God has purposed me to do. My opinion is just my opinion, and it’s no one else’s business but my own.
This week I ask that you take a step back from being so opinionated (If you are, of course). Whether it is a family member, friend, or stranger; let’s try to be more encouraging and less discouraging. We are not all made alike nor do we have the same lives or reactions to things. But we can embrace one another’s differences and enjoy the fact that we all have various views to share with each other. We have a right to an opinion, but we also have a responsibility to treat one another fairly. Do better to be better. As always, you got this!