TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. (Romans 14:1 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Opinions. Everyone has one. And right now, everyone has a strong opinion about Coronavirus. The three major ones:
- “Keep us sheltered in place—it’s not safe! We’ve got to keep flattening the curve!”
- “Reopen the country—the cure has become worse than the problem and it’s killing our business and economy!”
- “The government can’t tell me what to do! They are taking away our Constitutional rights! This is a free country!”
Maybe you’re feeling it for a little bit of some or all of them? Certainly, this is a scary, increasingly contentious time. And heaven help us all, it’s also an election year. Insert facepalm here.
As a Christian blogger and small business owner, I try to keep my opinion to myself or only share it with my closest confidants. It’s a personal policy that I’ve had for years, even before I started faith-based writing because I’ve seen how opinions can have a negative impact on both relationships and business. We’ve all seen friendships fall apart over political disagreements and I’ve seen business owners lose customers because of political opinions expressed on their personal profiles.
As tempers flare, the surplus of patience dwindles, and opinions are expressed, let’s keep a few things in mind… Whatever we say and whatever we do can have ramifications. Yes, we are all entitled to our own opinions. But that doesn’t mean we are free from the consequences.
I feel compelled to write this morning because if you’re reading, I assume you are a follower of Jesus Christ. And if you are, it’s not that you shouldn’t raise your voice, but that you should do so with caution, prayer, and awareness of Who you reflect. Remember, it’s less about “me,” and more about Him (John 3:30).
Romans 14:1 says, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” It’s not our job to debate with people… and let’s back up the previous chapter… remember, the Bible wasn’t originally broken out into chapters and verses. The previous verse to 14:1 is 13:14 and it says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
Your greatest desire may be to express your opinion! You may feel like you’re physically choking on the words you’re dying to get out! But I ask you to pause and think… ask yourself… how will your opinions honor God? If they don’t, you might do better to swallow them back down. Especially if they may have a negative impact on a young Christian or even someone who hasn’t professed their faith in Jesus. It would devastate me if, in my zeal to express my opinions, I inadvertently turned someone away who may have been interested in learning more about Jesus! I’d rather choke on my words or bite off my own tongue than have that happen.
And believe me, I know this is a fine line we walk. After all, I have someone in my life who thinks my faith in Jesus is just an opinion. He doesn’t understand my belief in Jesus Christ. We are exactly what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” But talking about opinions isn’t the same as sharing your faith in Jesus. That’s part of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) and is the responsibility of all Christians. And as Peter wrote, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
But opinions about the government… the coronavirus… or how you should take your coffee (black!)… these opinions, if not filtered through prayers first, can wreak havoc. Speak your words wisely and weigh your opinions carefully. As Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
Today, as you pray, thank God for the ability to think, but ask Him to give you wisdom and patience. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you express yourself in ways that honors God and your role as a Christian.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.