Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Current Study: A to Z
Today’s Topic: Opinions
Today’s Scripture: I Samuel 15:24-26 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the LORD’S command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them. Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD.” But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!”
Opinions have always been dangerous. Yet today we live in a world where they are respected as truth. It’s a problem that has existed in the hearts of man since the beginning.
It was an opinion that caused the first sin. Eve was asked to make a judgment about the consequences of eating the fruit of a specific tree. She made her judgment based on misinformation. That is the basis for the definition of opinion. According to dictionary.com, an opinion is a belief or judgment that rest on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. It is a personal view, attitude, or appraisal. Another dictionary I have says that an opinion is a belief no so strong as knowledge. In other words, opinions are not necessarily truth.
Eve got into trouble when she moved from standing on the truth to forming an opinion about the truth. That’s what makes opinions so dangerous – they are usually based on something other than absolute truth.
We form opinions because we have the capacity to think and reason. That thought process is tainted by our sin nature which forces us, apart from Christ, to seek self-fulfillment. When not formed and based in truth, opinions are nothing more than our attempt to promote and enhance self. We form opinions based on what we think we need or on what makes us feel most comfortable. Our opinions can be motivated by the need for acceptance, as was the case in King Saul’s life in today’s Scripture reading. Our opinions are powerful, and can be used to influence people for good or evil. But the bottom line is that unless the are continually regulated by God’s truth, they become dangerously selfish.
I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of public opinion polls. I understand their usefulness in determining some political policies so that our representative form of government is maintained. Where I have my problem is when public opinion is elevated to the place of truth in denial of God’s truth. In politics, the majority rules. Not so in the Kingdom of God. And not so in the church.
Personal opinions and preferences have long been the deadliest weapon of Satan against the body of Christ and the accomplishment of His mission. We now live in a church culture that is the product of allowing personal opinions to be validated as truth. It seems that the basic truths of God’s Word have been supplanted by the need to be accepted. Opinions have become the message that tickles the ears of hearers who are offended by the truth. We teach and preach what is politically correct. Even when we do present truth we sugar coat it so it comes across as opinion, because opinions are not offensive. We’ve been taught to tolerate opinions. Unfortunately, we no longer tolerate truth.
My friends, we must guard our hearts from allowing opinions and preferences to dictate our actions. When we allow that to happen, we become inward focused, and we cease to be effective at reaching others for Christ. I think we would be shocked if we would seriously reflect on the number of personal opinions we have allowed to govern our lives. We must return to building our lives, our attitudes, and our actions on truth rather than opinion.
So take some time today and reflect on your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the areas in your walk with Jesus that you have surrendered to personal preference rather than truth. Let Christ show you how His church is being hurt by the promotion of personal opinion rather than truth. Let Him show you how you are a part of that. Let us get out of ourselves, and into others. Let us proclaim the truth, and not let personal opinions pass themselves off as truth in our lives.