To all my friends who are leaders entertaining the many requests and opinions of others…a little life experience to you.
Have you ever gotten tired of the opinions of others concerning worship, your messages, small groups, the elders, the chair set up and your son’s latest tattoo? How come everyone has given themselves the job of making sure you are aware of what it is they like and do not like at your local church? Everyone has an opinion about their brother or sister and how they make decisions for themselves. Everyone likes to have your ear when it comes to their personal thoughts and direction for you, the elders and the church. How do we wade through it all? Who is right and who is wrong? Do we just close ourselves off and not listen or become numb to it all?
Jesus was at a Feast one day as recorded in John chapter 7. He sent his disciples ahead and then traveled there in secret. People were talking about Him at the Feast and He began to teach them. He said something that really stood out to me the other day in my devotional time. In verse 16 He revealed that His teaching was from the Father, it was not His own. He then said if we choose to do God’s will, we will find out if His teaching is from God (conviction) or simply from Himself (opinion). And then verse 18…”He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself (opinion), but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him (conviction).” It hit me that He was addressing opinions versus convictions.
What do I mean? An opinion according to this verse is to preserve one’s own thoughts and ideas, to gain honor for oneself. It is made up of this worlds wisdom. It is spoken at times to protect the one sharing the opinion. A conviction, however, is spoken to protect the integrity of another; to honor what another has spoken as truth. An opinion can be offered in true humility and be very helpful, but a conviction is spoken from the spirit because of a greater truth one feels compelled to uphold. I would not die for my opinions, but I would for my convictions deeply rooted in my faith.
May the Author of the Holy Scriptures reveal His truth to you today, as well as, His insight and discernment to determine the difference in the many opinions that come your way versus the spoken convictions of truth.