Opinions, this day and age, come at us from every direction. What used to be “news” is now largely editorial opinions from so-called journalists bent on using the power of the television and radio airwaves to push their own opinions about specific topics on us all. Remember this if you remember nothing more about this article. An opinion is simply someones personal point of view on a topic generally without facts to back it up. The key word there………..”facts”. Facts equal truth. Proverbs 18:2 sums it up pretty well; “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion“. All too often we thrust our own personal opinions out without first consulting the ultimate truth, the Bible. What’s the danger there? More cases than not, if we do not have the Biblical knowledge to express a Bible-backed truth on God’s direction for a particular topic, we risk twisting the intent of the Bible into our own personal interpretation, not God’s. Remember, there’s only one Bible.
The Bible According to Joe, Maria, Jim, Bob, Sharon…………..
There’s a game I remember playing in elementary school where the teacher whispered something into the ear of a student at the front of the class. She then instructed that student to turn to the student next to her and say the same thing to them. And thus this continued around the entire class. When the last student was told what the teacher had whispered at the front of the class, he/she was told to tell the class aloud what the whisper was. As it turns out, the interpretation across the class had changed so much that by the time it got to the last student, it was completely different from what the teacher had originally said.
When it comes to some of the highly argued topics today across our “news”, luckily we have that original whisper right in our hands. It’s called “The Bible”. Think back on that classroom game at what would have happened if the teacher had written down her whisper and passed it around the class. When the last student received it, all he/she would have had to do was read aloud exactly what the teacher had written and it would have still been the same as when the teacher had written it. We have the original whisper right at our fingertips in the Bible. Pick a topic in the news today, or any topic for that matter. What are your personal thoughts on that topic? Now, go see what the bible says.
- Abortion – Exodus 21:22-25, Psalm 82:3-4, Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5
- Alcohol – Proverbs 20:1, Galatians 5:19-21
- Forgiveness – Psalm 65:3, Isaiah 1:18, Ezekiel 36:25, and more.
- Gossip (most of the news today) – Exodus 23:1, Leviticus 19:16, Proverbs 11:13, Romans 1:29, and more.
- Government – Deuteronomy 17:18-19, Romans 13:1
- Justice – Exodus 23:2, Psalm 11:7, Romans 3:25-26
- Murder – Deuteronomy 5:17
- Sex – Proverbs 6:23-35, Matthew 5:27-30, Ephesians 5:1-3, and more.
- Homosexuality – Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:18-32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
- Foul Language – Colossians 4:6, 1 Timothy 4:12
The list of topics in the Bible is endless. The test of a persons true faith is the belief in the guidance of the Bible versus our own personal belief on a topic. All too often we try to stretch our own beliefs on topics before understanding what God instructs our stance to be. The Bible is very clear on many topics of daily life and applicable today as it was 1500 years ago. 2 Peter 1:20 assures us that the words of the Bible are God’s own words, not the “interpretations” of others, “Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation”. It’s the Bible according to God, not us or our own interpretations.
Don’t Be Afraid
Look at the band of people Jesus chose to hang out with and ultimately win over and make disciples. Fishermen, zealots, tax collectors, the list goes on. Most of them were not exactly the type we would send out daughters out on a date with. The ultimate calling of a Christian is to spread the word of God to everyone. God tells us in Mark 16:15, “And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” God did not say, “Only go to Christians and spread my word”. Christians already know about the saving Grace of Jesus Christ, it’s those who more closely reflect the original image of the disciples who need to hear about Jesus and His saving Grace.
It is in those times when we have the opportunity to share the good news of the Gospel that we cannot rely on our own interpretations. We must turn to God himself and speak the Bible as God himself gave it to us. Our charter as Christians is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not the gospel according to Susan, or Jason or Sherri, or Bob. In doing so, we need to step out of our comfort zones, step out of Church and share the Gospel with that stranger at the grocery store, that co-worker, that new acquaintance, etc, but do so according to the word of God, not what “we think”.
Trust in The Bible
All of us have a special talent. Something that just comes natural that we like to do, is easy for us, and most likely we get compliments about that “thing” we do from others. An old saying goes, “Find something you love to do, figure out how to get paid doing it, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. There’s a lot of truth to that saying. John 4:34, “Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.” The same goes for us. We are here on earth to accomplish a purpose, not for our benefit, but for the benefit of God.
As early as 5th grade, I had a “knack” for writing. It just came easy for me. I learned that if I just began writing, just start, just start writing words, the rest would come and before long I’d have a whole page written. Teachers often complimented my writing. At the same time, I was an introvert. Never one to get up in front of a group of people, never one to approach strangers, always timid and shy. So how on earth was I supposed to accomplish the ultimate plan of spreading the word of God? It took me years and years to figure out that my writing talent was in fact a talent given to me by God to accomplish His purpose. Has this writing actually led anyone to Christ? Honestly I’m not sure. But I do know, with 100% certainty, that God wants me to write, keep writing, and leave the rest to Him. I have to have faith and I have to trust in Him.
Often when I’m writing on a subject I come across certain thoughts on it that I have to be careful and not interject my own opinion on. Now, I could easily put my own personal interpretation out there for all to read, but that would just be an opinion, my opinion, not a fact of the Bible. Instead, I often stop and refer to the Bible for guidance instead and reference scriptures. When I do that, the right direction for that topic becomes very clear. What is your special talent that you could use to spread the word of God instead of your opinion?
God WILL Use You
Today, it is easier than ever before to know what God’s direction on any particular topic is. The Bible is available on an app for your phone, on your tablet and laptop and many other easily accessible sources not to mention the good old paper book form itself. The real question is, will you use it anywhere except church? God uses us in some pretty sneaky ways some times. There you are with a friend or family member who isn’t a believer, a topic comes up and they begin to give you their opinion. Right there the sirens of “opportunity” are going off. You could open that Bible app up, scroll to the subject and read off what God has to say, or you could just give your own personal opinion and go on. But if you read the Bible to that friend or family member, they’re going to think your just “weird”. More than likely, that is God trying to use you.
2nd Timothy 3:12 says, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”. Sure, that friend may think you’re “being weird”, they may laugh, they may never speak with you again. But what if God is also working in their life? What if God is nudging them as well? What if you would’ve been that one last step to get them to accept Christ and move from a destiny of Hell to a destiny of Heaven? Matthew 5:10 also says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Allow God to use you. Take the persecution of being laughed at, thought of as “weird”, and likely even worse. Instead of relying on your own personal opinions and interpretations, reach for the Bible.
Revelation 22:18-19 is very clear on correctly conveying the word of God. “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book”. Trust in God to use you, not in your own personal opinions and interpretations. Proverbs 3:6 instructs us, “Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take“. Trust God, trust His word, and the rest will fall into place. Just know that “place” may not be your will, but it will definitely be His. Mission Accomplished.