I have in the past been a man of many strong opinions, many of them stupid, but they were strong. They weren’t rock-solid strong but more than likely had a strong odor or strong in the sense that they were spoken loudly and with conviction. Loud opinions that stink are not a great foundation for a lifestyle.
I kept at it, though, and even convinced some people I was right. Most people were just convinced to avoid me.
My opinions tended to involve a little bit of common sense, a little, tiny bit of God’s Word and a whole lot of inflated ego. As a result, although I believed I had used logic and reason to come up with the most perfect opinion on almost anything (including things I had little to no knowledge of), I was often as wrong as wrong could be or at least far enough off target that if I kept following my opinion, I was farther off in left field every day shouting to the world that I was in center field.
There is a lot of pressure in having to be right about everything. No man can do it. A smart man realizes this and seeks to change his wrongness to rightness. I was not a smart man even though, in my opinion, I was a genius. When I was wrong, rather than admit it, I would do my best to convince the right that they were more wrong than I was.
Needless to say, I didn’t experience happiness a whole heck of a lot.
I’d become irritated if people wouldn’t jump on my bandwagon and happily dance down the trail of wrongness with me, abandoning being right. Most people wouldn’t do that. I was irritated a LOT!
2 Timothy 2:16 Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior.
A good thing to think about from time to time, sometimes several times a day, is, “Am I just talking to hear my head rattle and get others people’s heads rattling along with me?”
Sometimes when I speak, I get on a roll. I keep it coming and I go from being a participant in a conversation to the entertainer. What are the effects of all those words going to be? Am I going to encourage people to be judgmental and hateful and cruel? Am I going to make people uneasy and afraid? Am I leading them to or away from God?
I have a much easier time controlling the words I type here. I can sit down and focus on one goal. That goal is to encourage. I am not here to do all those bad things that can happen so easily when my tongue is controlling what is being said. But a lot of what comes out of my word hole during the day is determined when I sit down here and turn to God’s Word early in the morning.
I find it a lot easier to allow others to think for themselves and not try to tell them how to think. I trust God to work in the lives of people much more than I once did. For some reason, I thought people needed my idiotic opinions in order to make good decisions. I see that is a ludicrous idea now. People need God, not my opinions.
2 Timothy 2:19 But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “All who belong to the Lord must turn away from evil.”
I’m not in competition with God. I’m in communion with God. My opinions tend to run my life. The more I have, the less room for truth I have in my life. My opinions are most often based on me and what I want and think I need. God’s Word encompasses all of creation and what it takes to bring his Kingdom to his people. God is bigger than what my mind can create and imagine. So my opinion on what this world is coming to, what the actions of others say about them, what God’s actions say about him are basically just thoughts about things I don’t really understand at all. I like to think that I have a deeper level of knowledge than I do but really I only see the surface and rarely take into account all that lies below.
I’m usually wrong. But God’s truth stands firm. The tighter I grasp it and put it into my life, the righter I become. But he doesn’t make me right to blow my horn and tell the world how great I have become. He does it so that I can serve them in the right ways. It isn’t about me. It is about my part in something much bigger than me.