You’re upset. You know you’re right and they’re wrong.
The people who make the decisions are taking things in the wrong direction.
These people can be the decision makers for the country, at work, at church, in your neighborhood . . . you may even feel this struggle at home.
So, what are you supposed to do? You have strong opinions and it’s becoming impossible to hold them in much longer.
And of course, your opinions are right. Right?!
You feel the need to vent and you know you have several like-minded friends on social media who would be more than happy to vent with you.
I understand, I have opinions I feel strongly about too, just ask Rev!
But you and I are Christians, followers of Jesus . . . so maybe we need to slow down, take a deep breath, and take a closer look at what the Bible says about the ways we should share our beliefs with others.
The Biblical Way to Share Your Opinions
Be willing to accept those who still have doubts about what believers can do. And don’t argue with them about their different ideas. Romans 14:1 (ERV)
Hmmm. That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Don’t argue about different ideas. The truth is you’re probably not going to change anyone’s thinking by forcefully sharing your own. All you do is force people to take sides and divide along thought lines. Besides, it’s not your job. The Holy Spirit is in the business of changing hearts and minds.
My dear brothers and sisters, always be more willing to listen than to speak. Keep control of your anger. Anger does not help you live the way God wants. So get rid of everything evil in your lives—every kind of wrong you do. Be humble and accept God’s teaching that is planted in your hearts. This teaching can save you. James 1:19–21 (ERV)
This is clear, too. Listen. Control your anger. Live the way God wants. Get rid of evil in your life. Be humble and accept God’s teaching.
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. 1 Peter 3:15–16a (NLT)
Maybe you and I are supposed to talk more about the blessings God is working in our lives than we tell others what they should be doing with theirs. Can you imagine a world where Christians were set apart by the gentle and respectful way we talked to others? (I’m feeling a little convicted on that one.)
The Bible even tells you and me how to worship Christ as Lord of our lives…
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)
For God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NLT)
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17 (NLT)
Because of His amazing grace and unfailing love, God gave His all to give you and me abundant life. There are so many wonderful things we can choose to focus on besides the negatives that cause us to argue and judge.
What if we every action, conversation, and social media post was preceded with the question…
Does this glorify God?
Here are some Biblical Ways to Help…
Be Slow to Judge
- Keep your heart tender – Ephesians 4:32
- Recognize your own sins – Romans 3:23
- Remember the mission is to extend God’s love to hurting people – Proverbs 15:4
Put Away Your Weapons
- Words can be weapons of mass destruction – Proverbs 12:18
- Don’t divide God’s army into regiments by stirring up strife – Proverbs 6:16–19
- Avoid venting when you’re angry – Psalm 4:4
Ask for God’s Help
- Pray – 1 John 5:14
- Wait on God to open doors for you – 1 Chronicles 16:11
- Pray again – Ephesians 6:18
I need to be honest with you. This list comes from a past of unnecessary opinion sharing. I used to be a “fixer.” I’d see a problem and charge in wielding my word weapons determined to win the opinion war.
But wars always have casualties.
Yes, there were certainly times when God led His people into battle quickly . . . but there were also times when He told them to wait while He went ahead of them and prepared the way. Either way, the point is that God was doing the leading.
Just because you and I are agitated about something doesn’t mean that God is preparing us for battle. He might be, but He might just be inviting us to pray for the individuals whose battle it is to fight and trust the Holy Spirit to speak truth not opinions.
I’m learning. No, I’m not where I want to be yet.
But when it comes to opinion sharing word wars, I’m making every effort to pray first and then pray more. I need God’s help to keep my eyes on Him and trust His Spirit’s guidance. I need His patience and strength as I wait for Him to open doors. And I need Him to give me gentle and respectful words when He directs me to speak.
Quotes to Think About
“Compassion costs. It is easy enough to argue, criticize, and condemn, but redemption is costly, and comfort draws from the deep. Brains can argue, but it takes heart to comfort.” ~ Samuel Chadwick
“Persistence in prayer for someone whom we don’t like, however much it goes against the grain to begin with, brings about a remarkable change in attitude.” ~ F. F. Bruce
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ~ Roy T. Bennett
“Tolerance isn’t about not having beliefs. It’s about how your beliefs lead you to treat people who disagree with you.” ~ Timothy J. Keller
Friends, gentleness and respect are love in action. Today may we express love in the way we express our opinions.
With God’s help . . . we can do this!
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