During this time of pandemic, there have been many blogs written which have been great and point us to Christ. There have been other ones written which are not so great! This will probably one of those. Even as I think of what I’m about to write, I realize I’m writing my opinion. It’s maddening! Let’s talk opinions.
The word opinion has many meanings listed on dictionary.com, but I want to focus on the first two: 1. “A belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.” 2. “A personal view, attitude, or appraisal.” The two words that stick out to me in these definitions are insufficient and personal. If something is insufficient then there’s not enough of it. If something is personal, then it’s mine. We all have brains given to us by God and have the privilege of using them to form opinions and conclusions. There should be the effort to educate ourselves on what is happening in our world. We should do research on subjects and come to conclusions that will best suit our lives. As we use our brains, we have to remember that others are using theirs too. They may come to different conclusions than we do.
If we have an opinion, we consider it right. Because we believe our opinion and value it, we want others to hear it and get on board with us. Honestly, that’s what we want but that’s not how it works. The truth IS we have a hard time when people don’t agree with us. It usually starts with a heated discussion, leading to anger, leading to ugly words, leading to bitterness, leading to a split relationship. This is not how it should be. We have to remember the difference between opinion and truth. Remember the words from our definitions-insufficient and personal. We don’t always have all the facts, and even if we do, we process them in our own personal way. We are different, and that’s a good thing!
Our identity in Christ is more important than our opinions. If you are a follower of Christ you know, “…You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” (1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a) Christ paid the price for our sins on the cross, and God accepted that payment. So we belong to him! As his children, he calls us to be the body of Christ, the church. “…so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (Romans 12:5) The body of Christ consists of many individuals who have different gifts and different opinions. This is important for us to remember as we strive for unity. Our unity is not in our opinions but in our position as a follower of Christ. So we are called to “Be at peace among yourselves.” (1 Thessalonians 5:13b) How do we do that when we have so many opinions?
A few evenings ago, my husband and I were watching Finding Nemo. Why? I really don’t have an excuse! If you’ve seen the movie, I hope you will remember the seagulls. We all know that in real life, seagulls are annoying. I really liked the way they were portrayed in this movie. They were always shouting, “Mine, mine, mine!” at the top of their lungs as they tried to take any scrap of food they saw. They claimed it and wanted everyone to know they claimed it. Here’s what came to my mind: my opinion is mine, and I need to keep it to myself. I don’t need to be running around shouting, “Listen to mine!” That doesn’t mean that there won’t be times when I can air it because I’m asked and then discuss with another person civilly. The key here is that I will be asked, not that I will force my opinion on others.
As a follower of Christ, I need to speak with the other person’s best interest in mind, not my own. We need to live out our identity during this time when so many opinions are floating around out there. This is a time to be like the seagulls. We can shout and should shout, “Mine, mine, mine!” when it comes to Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) That’s truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! It’s not insufficient data! It’s not my personal opinion, but it is personal! Christ saved me! “Mine, mine, mine!” forevermore!