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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Opinions...



I had an experience the other night that got me to thinking… I was awakened in the wee hours of the night by my wife who seemed to be experiencing some difficulties.  It turned out to be nothing and she slept comfortably through the night.  But after I got back into bed after checking on her, I began to think about my response to the potential situation.

In a moments time I seemed to have gone through a while mired of emotions.  At first I was concerned and then I found myself getting annoyed because I had just fallen back asleep after getting up at 2:30 AM to give her a dosage of one of her medicines and my sleep was being disturbed.  But as I laid there in bed I began to consider whose “OPINION” I was going to listen to concerning the event.  In my sleepy state I was annoyed because according to the Word she should be getting better and not worse… right?  

Well once I allowed that question to meander in my head, the enemy of our souls was quick to take the opportunity and torment me with all kinds of “What If?” thoughts!  That attack didn’t last too long though, as I have been around that block a few times!  It was almost like someone came up from behind me and shut that door with a noisy “SLAM!” that shook me back into a place of spiritual discernment!

And that’s when the idea of “OPINIONS” came to mind and I was immediately faced with the decision of whose “OPINION” I was going to listen to at that particular time and place.  Would it be the negative thoughts of what could happen if this incident should escalate, or to refocus my trust and expectations back on God’s “OPINION” of my wife’s condition?  Hummm… well even though I was tired (and a bit cranky) it didn’t take a rocket scientist to decide on the best course of action!

I quickly re-affirmed that God’s “OPINION” was the only one that mattered!  His “OPINION” is how He spoke through the Apostle John in 3 John 3:2 declaring that “in regard to all things I pray that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers” (MKJV) or as Peter confirmed the completed prophecy of Isaiah concerning Jesus’ work on the cross stating that “He himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.” (I Peter 2:24 MKJV)

I noticed while studying the Word this morning that Paul gave his “OPINION” to the Corinthian Church three times in his first two letters to them. (See: I Cor 7:25, 40 and 2 Cor 8:10)  In the King James version the word “OPINION” is translated twice as judgment and once as advice.  But all three of them come from the same Greek word which according to Thayer’s means “one’s mind concerning what ought to be done.”  

What’s interesting though is that this word comes from the Greek word “ginosko” which just happens to be the same word used, among other places, in Ephesians 3:19 where Paul was praying that his readers would have an increasingly intimate knowing of God’s love.  The word “ginosko” being the Jewish idiom for the act of intimacy between a husband and wife.
So for my understanding, Paul’s “OPINION” given to the church at Corinth was that which was based on his increasingly intimate knowledge of God’s will.  It wasn’t just an expression of what he thought.  

 A quick review of Philippians 3:4-8 will verify this conclusion.  In this portion of scripture we find out that Paul had an impeccable heritage, an “Ivy League” level of education, practical experience second to none, and was considered to be a Jew’s Jew for his perfection in keeping the Jewish Law.  But yet in verse eight he matter-of-factually declares that “I threw it all away in order to gain Christ.” (God’s Word ©)  As far as Paul was concerned… the only “OPINION” that really mattered was God’s “OPINION!”

And that… was the “OPINION” that I also matter-of-factually decided was the ONLY “OPINION” that matters to my wife and I concerning her recovery… or on any other subject for that matter!  How about You?

Have a great rest of the week!  I challenge you to be aware of all the different “OPINIONS” floating around as you traverse through your daily activities.  Proverbs 18:2 makes an interesting point concerning this discussion saying: “A fool does not find joy in understanding but only in expressing his own “OPINION.” (God’s Word ©)

With that in mind I’ll let you mull over this thought: “Who’s ‘OPINION’ am I expecting to depend on today?”

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