Everyone Has An Opinion.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about instant gratification and how hard it can be to have patience. I told you a story about how I was going to watch the Detroit Lions play on Monday Night Football because I had signed up for a free trial of PlayStation Vue.
The Lions ended up playing one of their worst games ever on national television that night. They were blown away on offense, defense, and special teams. It was an awful sight for any Detroit Lions fan.
The next week they traveled to California to take on the San Fransisco 49ers and lost again. They only lost this game by 3, but a loss is still a loss. The sportswriters ragged on the Lions and said how awful the franchise, owner, coach, and players are. "There is no hope in Detroit," they said. "They will play the Patriots next and lose."
A funny thing happened when they played the New England Patriots last night. Detroit won! Not only did they win but they showed that they were pretty good on all sides of the ball and beat a good team for once. However, that's not good enough for the sportswriters. They had to keep picking on the Lions.
The sportswriters are saying, "the Lions are only good because the Patriots are so bad. This is the beginning of the end for the Patriots. Look how far the champs have fallen. They lost to the Lions!"
Do you see what has happened here? The opinion that the sportswriters have of the Lions, whether they win or lose, is negative. If the Lions play poorly, it's something they need to fix. If the Lions are playing well, it's because the other team is bad. In other words, the Lions can't be good.
I point this out because I think we all do this to a certain degree and I am not just talking about sports.
Maybe you don't have a good opinion of a certain political candidate because of the party they represent, or of a coworker's life choices, or of a certain group of people who may think and act differently than you do.
We can easily allow our opinions to shape the way we think about, and act toward, others. Even when someone turns their life around, we all too often keep our opinions of that person the same. We give ourselves the benefit of the doubt when we change, but do we do that for others?
There are people in my life right now, who will remain nameless, of whom my opinion is negative. I have my reasons for holding these opinions and at times I feel justified for thinking this way. In my eyes, they can't and won't change and if they do it is probably not a real change at all. I don't like thinking this way. I don't want to have a negative view of others. I want to love others as God has loved me.
I also want to say that other people also have opinions about you and me. You might be doing everything right or everything wrong and people will still have their negative opinions of you. It's just a fact of life that you and I will not please everybody! Be who God created you to be and make the changes He wants you to change in your life!
Galatians 2:20 (The Message) Christ’s life showed me how and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
My prayer for us today is that we no longer live to impress God, or anyone else, but live our lives in Jesus. Let's do what Jesus wants, even if people don't understand it or like it. And let's have the understanding and compassion to realize that other people change and sometimes it really is best if we leave our opinions to ourselves.
Until Monday, Josh