Whose Opinion Really Matters?
In the circles that I have been navigating, I have been encountering folks who feel very comfortable telling me what they think or feel about various aspects of life. I don’t silicate their opinion, they freely offer it. Some opinions may be true, at times they may be unkind, they are usually untimely, and many opinions may be error. My desire is to lovingly listen to these folks, respect their opinion, agreeing at times and disagreeing yet still loving the person. How can we do this? I want people to like me, I dislike conflict, and so whose opinion matters and whose do I heed and take to heart?
For far too many years, I allowed the fear of man to hold me back, especially in the area of writing music and sharing it with listeners. I was convinced that if people knew what I thought, they might disagree and want to argue with me, perhaps part company. If I wrote a song and they didn’t agree with the lyrics, I was paralyzed by the thought of them criticizing it and expressing their negative thoughts to me. Unfortunately too many years have been wasted.
I gave man’s opinion too much room in my head and heart. The opinion that truly needs to guide my decisions and words is my heavenly Father’s, is He pleased with my thoughts, words and actions? We know that according to I Samuel 16:7c, “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” No man can see into my heart to know my motivation, but God can.
A quote that has helped me a great deal in the past few years is this, “If you displease God, it doesn’t matter who you please. If you please God, it doesn’t really matter who you displease.” (Pastor Richard Allen Duncan). While I am sure there are opinions that are trustworthy and have my best interest at heart. I am choosing to look to my Heavenly Father and His Word for direction in my thoughts, words and actions. Robert Hayes is Director of Program and Artist-in-Residence at America’s Keswick. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: One shall not neglect the times of prayer and psalmody (worship), whether he is on a boat, in the monastery, in the fields, or on a journey, or filling any service whatever. Pachomius (292–348 A.D.)
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27