“Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions.” – Proverbs 18:2
My husband said something in his sermon on Sunday that ended up being very appropriate for all the noise in the social media newsfeeds this week… “God doesn’t need my opinion, or yours. The truth is in the bible. It’s unchanging just as He is unchanging.”
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” – 2 Timothy 3:16
I thought about that statement this week, especially as all the posts started appearing in my newsfeed about a Christian artist who didn’t respond to a question in the manner most had hoped she would. My question isn’t why did she respond that way? My question is this: Why do we like to put famous people on the spot with their “opinion” on subjects the Lord has already spoken on? A celebrity agreeing with the bible, or disagreeing with the bible, doesn’t make it any more or less valid. God spoke on certain matters. Period. There are parts of the bible that make us feel full of hope. There are parts that offer correction and draw very clear lines in the sand of what is right and what is wrong. But the part I cling to in the word? The part I base my journey on? The 310 times it tells us to “love” one another in the bible. The fact that God is love. In 1 Corinthians we read what love is… Love is patient, kind, it does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails.
Why do you think the bible talks so much about love? I firmly believe it’s because the devil doesn’t understand love, and he can’t defeat something he doesn’t understand. He understands and revels in hate, accusations, judgement… in getting Christians divided and arguing about things God’s already spoken on so the rest of the world sees it and wants no part of our Faith. When we stop shooting our wounded and leaving them on the battlefield to die, and instead walk in love and in the truth? That’s when we start to become the church. Christ’s church.
We like to label “sin” and make one worse than the other. End of day? Sin is sin. In fact? In the bible it says this…
“There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.” – Proverbs 6:17
Notice that a lying tongue is listed above a murderer?? Notice he calls out those who sow discord? We need to watch every word that proceeds out of our mouths and determine if it will edify the body of Christ, or tear it down.
People who are sinning against Gods design often quickly pull out this bible verse when approached with the truth… “Well the bible also says thou shalt not judge”!! And then an argument or hurt feelings ensue. Let’s look at that scripture in it’s entirety….
Luke 6:37 – 39 says…. “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. And when a brother or sister slips a bit? We shouldn’t forget our roles, and God’s. We don’t shoot our wounded on the battlefield. We don’t become haughty and “holier than thou”… because I guarantee we’ve all fallen short at times! We love the struggling Christian. We pray for them. We don’t gossip about or judge them. (You can’t pray for someone and gossip about them at the same time. You gotta choose one.) We let God do the convicting.. the speaking to their hearts.. and the moving in their lives.
So let’s talk about “thou shalt not judge” … The bible goes on to say… “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?” What I believe God wants us to judge is not others, but the circumstances and situations we put ourselves in. For example? If you are a recovering alcoholic and one of your old buddies asks you to go out to the bar for a birthday party? You need to judge that situation, use discernment and wisdom and ask yourself this question… “is that really the best place for me to be? Is the possibility of falling off the wagon worth the time spent with those old friends?” The answer is no. That’s not judging others, that’s using good judgement. There is a difference. It’s called wisdom. The simple truth is when you become a Christian, sometimes you have to delete phone numbers of those who would become a stumbling block. Again, you are not judging your old friends, you are putting your newfound relationship with Jesus first.
“Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them, says the LORD. Don’t touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you.” – 2 Corinthians 6:17
At the end of the day, when others ask “my opinion” on certain subjects that many like to debate? I tell them my opinion doesn’t matter. What matters is what God says. And what God says is what I believe. And if what God says is different than how you are living? I won’t cast stones at you. I will love you, and pray for you, and urge you to seek God for yourself. Once you start seeking God? He’ll reveal the truth. And the truth? Will set you free.
Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:31-32
My biggest desire is to see as many as I can walk in the freedom I have found. Freedom that comes from knowing the truth, and a relationship with Jesus. Freedom that conquers and casts out fear, anxiety and doubt.
In Christ’s Love –