Opinion is at the heart of conflict among believers. These opinions quickly undermine harmony and dull our relationship with God. Unfortunately, many times church doctrine has be written with the same opinions or possibly what I am going to call nearsighted understanding. To have nearsighted understanding means that an individual embraces some of God’s Word and dismisses scriptures that do not line up with their personal opinion. The truth is God’s Word is Truth and we can neither add to nor take away ONE Word found in God’s Word. God speaks through people His inspired and trustworthy Words. Within His Word we find Holy Truth…recorded by God’s chosen disciples, prophets, apostles, or the Words of Jesus Himself documented by those that knew Him, eyewitnesses.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 MSG says “We couldn’t be more sure of what we saw and heard—God’s glory, God’s voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You will do well to keep focusing on it. It is the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it is not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word.”
We must also look at 2 Peter 1:21 TLB, “No true prophecy comes from human initiative but is inspired by the moving of the Holy Spirit upon those who spoke the message that came from God.”
God knows us so well, after all we are His creation. He even knew that we would take His Word of Truth and try to put our own spin on it. In order for all of God’s children to live in harmony we must recognize that each of us are on our own journey with God and that it is God’s desire that we accept one another Romans 15:7.
In Galatians 5:15 MSG, we receive a warning, a critical spirit is dangerous, “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you do not use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That is an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? ” This freedom is found in God’s Word…His Words not ours…this Love is God’s Love…not ours. We fall short when we try to mix our opinion, worldly belief and love with God’s Way and Truth. It is so important to walk continually checking our eyesight and making sure we are seeing clearly through Jesus’ eyes and not our own. We must embrace all God’s Word not just the scriptures that we like or that bring an answer we want to hear.
No one and no opinion must ever be lifted higher than God and God’s Truth. Three of my life verses come to mind here:
“We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB Ask yourself this question daily…does my thinking, opinion, decision making process, belief, and action line up with God?
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything, worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 NASB Where do you find your focus, thoughts, and emotions? Every sinful desire begins in our mind, we must keep our mind in check with God’s Truth.
“For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 NASB Are you daily allowing God, using His Sword of Truth to separate worldly opinions and attitudes to be surgically removed from you? This takes surrender to God’s Word and His Word alone.
Only when we are surrendered to God can we love one another and be united in God’s Truth, and be the one body, God has called us to be…Ephesians 4:3 tells us “ make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” We also know…”For just as we have many parts in one body and all the body’s parts do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually parts of one another.”
In Romans 14 cultural differences or opinions began to cause conflict among the believers. These opinions were outside of God’s Word, the fundamentals of salvation and behaviors the Bible commands or condemns are not disputable matters. In other words, God’s Word is not to be disputed, you are God’s child, and we MUST embrace ALL of His Word. It is without an expiration date; it is active and living today just as it was when God gave it to us. We MUST NOT let nonessential issues, cultural differences, and personal opinions destroy the fellowship God has given us with one another, love for one another centered in Jesus Christ. That love I am speaking of is not denominational, cultural or tradition…it is embracing God what binds all believers into one body.
“So warmly welcome each other into God’s family, just as Christ has warmly welcomed you; then God will be glorified!” Romans 15:7 TLB personalized
Blessings, Sister Laurie