Growing up in a pastor’s home, I saw my dad trying to deal with people who had become intransigent in their views – demanding that everyone else in the church hold their view.
“All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord.” Proverbs 16:2
When you have people gathered together, there will be a plethora of opinions. I suppose that is fine and good as long as there is respect given and received. Otherwise positions become hard, and we are divided. I have grown up in the evangelical milieu and have seen how many things have divided people in the past – like: views of end times; music styles; role of women in the church; dancing; alcohol; length of men’s hair; versions of the bible; seeing movies; even the place (or non-place) of laughter in the church setting. Growing up in a pastor’s home, I saw my dad trying to deal with people who had become intransigent in their views – demanding that everyone else in the church hold their view.
That was then and this is now. Since the avalanche of social media, we have become so hardened in our opinions – there is no room for negotiation. “My way or the highway – do you think just like me or are you an idiot??” Democrats versus Republicans. Liberal minded people versus conservative minded people. Urban versus rural. After many years of promoting racial diversity, it is now race pitted against race – black versus white. With covid, it is health and safety versus rights and freedoms. And there is no middle ground!! “Those holding views different than mine are fools not worthy of my time.”
Through this pandemic, I have formed very definite views – and I just know they are all correct! But I realized as I read the Proverbs that I need to be careful because maybe, just maybe – in the end - I might be wrong. I know you find it hard to believe – as I did, but that’s the truth.
They say the definition of a fanatic is someone who won’t change their mind and won’t change the subject. It is easy to be unbalanced if we isolate ourselves from other Christians and from the Word of God – both of which can speak balance into our life.
So how about you? Are you an opinionated so and so? It’s not wrong to have a view, but in the end, God knows your motives. I love how David finishes the 139th Psalm: “Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Have a listen to this song by Russ Taff. Let God mellow your heart.
Pastor Leon Throness