by: Carole L. Haines
Opinions, O how we love them sometimes. But as believers in Jesus Christ, we really don’t have a right to our own opinions. We worship our rights within our culture. We constantly hear it said, “Well I have a right to _________________.” None is ever more touted in our society than, “But I have a right to my opinions.” Do we really, as believers, have a right to our opinions? Perhaps we do over trite things, such as favorite foods, places, colors, ect. But not over one another. We exchange our opinions for solid truth when we become Christians. As believers in Jesus, we lay down our rights because we have found something much better than rights, we have found love, deliverance, freedom, and solid truth, not fleeting opinions that change more quickly than the wind. Opinions often fly in the face of truth, never more so than in reference to how we perceive one another in the Body of Christ. Let’s look at a passage of Scripture:
Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand… For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14: 1-4, 7-8)
I have always looked this passage as being about what to eat and not to eat, etc. But it is really about our opinions, judgments and acceptance of others. I have highlighted and underlined the key things.
We are to accept anyone who belongs to Jesus, weakness is a reality for us all. Strength of our own is an illusion that life will soon obliterate. Paul boasted in his weaknesses because in embracing them, his strength was always from the Lord, not of Himself. Accept one another.
We are not to pass judgment on one another, especially not on his opinions. We are not to judge one another. This was discussed above in detail.
We are not to regard one another with contempt, for any reason. If we find this in ourselves, we need to bring that to the Lord and ask Him to reveal where our thinking is wrong. If we sense it toward ourselves from others, we need to pray for God to gently reveal to them their own issues.
Paul sums it all up with one of the most practical portions of Scripture: 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand… For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
Above all of these reasons, Paul ties it with the bow of the fact that God has accepted each one of us. So, who are we to reject one another?