“Arguments won’t change people. Simply giving away kindness won’t either. Only Jesus has the power to change people, and it will be harder for them to see Jesus if their view of Him is blocked by our big opinions.” ~ Bob Goff
Sue’s Note: My yearly focus for 2019 is two words: “Love better.” In my quest to accomplish this, I read Bob Goff’s book, Everybody Always – Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People. I had not read Goff’s bestseller, Love Does, but I plan to do so before year’s end. Some of Goff’s ideas far exceed my current love capacity. Some have caused me to say, “Ouch!” Many more challenged and encouraged me to raise my “love bar.” I recommend this book.
A few years ago, I realized I was becoming a news junkie!
The more I watched or listened to news laced with political commentary, the more deeply entrenched I became in what Bob Goff calls “big opinions.”
One day a spiritual nudge convinced me that wasn’t my God-design.
The first nudge came after telling a clever, comical joke about a leader in the political party with which my “big opinions” didn’t align. The twinge in my conscience shortly after was unmistakable. The witty punchline was certainly unkind and probably untrue.
My God design isn’t to be an unkind liar!
Sometime later, I felt confused while watching a presidential debate. Both candidates promised actions with which I agreed, but I questioned the truthfulness of their words.
About that same time, I was involved in a daily Bible reading plan including portions from both Old and New Testament. One day the Old Testament portion told the story of divine intervention resulting in a remarkable victory for an outnumbered, ill equipped regiment of God-honoring men fighting a formidable evil enemy. God did this by sending a spirit of chaos and confusion into the enemies’ camp.
Then, a New Testament reading from John 14 included Jesus’ declaration: “I am…the truth…”
I was struck with a profound realization. GOD KNOWS TRUTH because God who came as man is TRUTH. That belief altered my political paradigm. Instead of spouting “big opinions,” I began praying:
God, you know all truth. You, in fact, are TRUTH. Please shine light on that which is true and send chaos and confusion into the camps of those who are enemies of truth.
These days, I watch minimal news and rarely discuss politics. I treasure friendships with folks from differing political persuasions. I’m grateful for freedom and vote my conscience but have determined I won’t discuss how I vote.
I want to love people more like Jesus loved!
That’s vastly more important than blocking a view of Jesus by my “big opinions.”
“Big opinions” can be like this prickly cactus Ron photographed on a recent visit to the Manito Conservatory in Spokane, Washington.
What a contrast the prickly cactus is to this lovely arrangement of various plants and flowers, also found at the Manito Conservatory!
Consider and Imagine:
- Consider what “big opinion” you may be holding onto that isn’t consistent with your God-design or may be blocking another’s view of Jesus.
- Imagine choices you could make to relinquish a “big opinion” while holding tightly to truth? How would this choice change your ability to love more like Jesus?
God of Love and Truth,
Knowing You know all truth brings me incredible comfort. Remind me of and help me relinquish any “big opinions” to which I may be clinging. Help me live in a way that does not block the view of Jesus to those whose lives can only be changed by a Jesus-encounter.
Blessings as you examine and let go of unhelpful “big opinions…”
- Everybody Always, Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People, Bob Goff, Chapter 1, Creepy People ↑