We all have opinions. That’s part of what makes us wonderfully unique. As we wrestle with our tangled thoughts sometimes one breaks free. An untangled thought of clarity. And something deep inside us says, “Yes, that thought fits me.”
So, we put it on and wear it.
Just as a soft jacket warms us in the chill of a winter wind, so does this clear thought. It feels good. It feels right. So, we own it. It’s our opinion.
But here’s what we must always remember. Opinions and truth aren’t always the same.
Truth isn’t skewed by feelings. Opinions sometimes are.
Truth isn’t shaped to fit us and make us feel good. Opinions sometimes are.
Truth isn’t our personal “nanny nanny boo boo” to those who hurt us. Opinions sometimes are.
I’ve recently seen several articles where the writers climb up on their soap box mislabeled “truth” and blast other Christians. Through the thinly disguised efforts to “hold this person accountable”, they judge. Harshly.
They tap, tap, tap their keyboards stringing WARNING words for all to see. And they are proud for the “good” they have done for their readers.
But honest to goodness, that’s not at all what it is. It’s not good. It’s selfish.
When you hold someone accountable, you want the best for that person. You use truth to navigate whatever issue there may be. And you do it person to person. You don’t broadcast their issues to the world hoping to gather a mob, throw a spot light, and relish in pointing out a perceived flaw.
That’s not accountability. That’s attack. And that’s what I saw.
I saw attempts to tear down the credibility of the person being discussed. I saw opinions being used as if they were truth.
And here’s what’s really interesting. With each article, the person writing it had no real credibility in the very area they were spewing their opinions.
Someone who had never led an organization, was criticizing the decisions of a leader.
Someone who had never written a published book, was criticizing the writing of an author.
Someone who had never preached a sermon, was criticizing the teaching style of a preacher.
Here’s my guess… at some point in their lives the critic attempted to lead, write, or preach and felt like a failure afterwards.
That feeling helped form an opinion.
And that opinion helped the critic feel a little better about themselves until the success of another fueled some sort of jealousy.
And instead of being honest about their jealousy and dealing with it, they sought to tear down the one who had what they wanted.
What a warning to us all. What a warning to me, personally. I must be especially careful, careful, careful with my opinions formed from my failures.
Opinions. They can be good. But they can also be, not so good. Especially when our supposed clarity is the very thing that clouds truth. And hurts others.
Oh God, help us see the difference between our frail, sometimes faulty opinions and Your rock solid truth.