I have opinions. Many opinions. I sometimes think I know more than I really do. Sometimes I convince myself of that. At other times I am so blinded by “my convictions” (whatever that is).
I blindly believe and act according to what I think is best. I do this for me… The sad thing is that I also impose this on others, as well. And, worst of all, I try to recruit God to my side of the “judgment lines“, when He doesn’t do what I think He should be. Like He needs to be convinced I’m right… There are times I’ve had my opinions about others and God’s will for their lives.
In some instances I’ve felt God shouldn’t be doing some things through some people. Either because I (strongly) felt they just weren’t “wired” for it. I justified their failures as validation for inadequacies I perceived in them. As if God didn’t already know what they could and couldn’t do. As if He was blind, like when parents think the world of one child and treat the other as a demon of sort.
You know when the “angel of a sibling” does nothing wrong and mom and dad don’t believe the “bad one” when he or she reports a bad incident perpetrated by the “angel”?
I cry foul when God seems unfair, when He is actually being gracious to others [Click to Tweet]
Like Jonah, the one in the Bible, I fight God on His will for people. Jonah was upset that God wanted to show mercy on Nineveh. He was livid that God showed mercy to “bad people” (Jonah 4:1-4).
Some translations of the Bible say that Jonah was “displeased”, but when I read around that, “displeasure” is way too mild. His reaction, to go out of the city and ask God to kill him, “displeasure”? Yeah right! Jonah was livid! Infuriated!
Reading Philip Yancey’s, “What’s So Amazing About Grace” challenged my view of grace. It helped me understand a little more just how gracious God is and can be.
However, there are other instances, where I have, in different ways, God’s will and plans for others. Why did God not take my opinions on the people or the situations?
God seems to remind me that my opinions of other people and what He should do don’t really count. For that I’m often infuriated. Infuriated, like the brother who stayed home, in Jesus story. You know, the brother who didn’t squander his part of the inheritance from the father who was still alive…
I guess there are instances where I have been that older brother. The one who was more upset with God’s grace on others despite how they dissed Him.
And, ironically, also relieved.
Relieved that God doesn’t act like how my sometimes, depraved mind and emotions sometimes want Him to. That His grace goes beyond what I think. The thing is, if He had to do that for others, like how I sometimes think He should, then He would also need to withdraw His to / from me. His grace that I’m in always desperate need for.
What makes me think God needs my wisdom on dealing with people He made, knows and loves infinity multiplied by infinity forever, more than me.
God’s plans, for others aren’t dependent on my opinion of them or their circumstance [Click to Tweet]
This, as I’ve written about it in the past, sometimes gets in the way of my assignments as God send me to others. My opinions are often a hindrance to encouraging others to fully commit to what they feel God is leading them to.
Somehow I’ve been reminded of how my opinions, our opinions cause people to be hesitant in being completely given to what God wants of them. We can easily and nastily get in the way.
That’s what the Pharisees and Sadducees did in Jesus’ time. They somehow, made themselves the standards gatekeepers. They exalted their opinions above God’s love and plans for others. When I join them. Do like “them“.
God, forgive me. Help me remember, keep this at the fore of my mind: Your will, grace and plans for others doesn’t depend on my opinions or feelings. May you help me (and all Christ followers) to not have opinions but discern Your will for others and be a part of it where and if we need to be. Amen.
[Photo Credit: David Restivo]