How many times have you asked someone else what they think about something? Why do we ask? Maybe the better question would be, who do we ask? We usually ask the person whose answer is most likely to coincide with what we already think.
There are certainly plenty of people we would never want an opinion from. Either we wouldn’t value their opinion, or, we might suspect ahead of time that it would not agree with our own personal opinion. Perhaps the main reason we ask for someone else’s opinion is to validate our own opinion because that makes us feel right.
Of course some brave souls ask those they trust, not knowing what the answer will be. These courageous people are not looking for approval, but rather solid direction. They have a desire to learn, or, as the case may prove to be, to unlearn.
For most people, the opinion of others carries a lot of weight. And when someone else’s opinion is not in line with theirs, it hurts their feelings. Even if they know the other person does not see the whole picture, it still stings.
As our two children grew up, I tried to impress upon them that they would never, ever be able to please everyone. I told them there were just too many cliques and groups to try to get everyone’s approval. I encouraged them to love everyone, but to be themselves.
Here’s another side to the coin: many times we misunderstand what others are saying to us or about us. We get emails and often wonder, “What does she mean by that?” We read into the words and many times even interject the tone we imagine behind what was written.
The same is true with text messages. Unless you are familiar with the way certain people send a text, a short abbreviated text might seem a bit haughty to you. And again, it is so easy to read into, or in fact, fabricate the tone in which we think that the text was sent.
Of course a lot of the blame for this is our poor writing skills. Who writes letters anymore? A quick Tweet, a brief comment on Facebook, a short email, or, an abbreviated text message is what we call communication?
The current forms of “communication” these days have brought to the surface many people’s insecurities. Why are other people’s opinions so important to us? Does it really matter what they think? We cannot please everybody.
Teenagers especially just want to belong and be accepted. Some teens end up in trouble by trying to please their peers and gain acceptance. And, what about adults who never outgrew the “please like me” teen years?
You cannot second guess yourself day in and day out, wondering what others think. If you are really not sure about something, then have the courage to ask someone whose advice you trust. When you get the counsel you need, then heed it and move forward.
Too often people keep asking for advice until they find someone who gives them the answer that they want to hear. Why do they do this? It is most often so that they can say that “so and so told me that this was a good idea.” If you don’t want any advice, then don’t get any and have the gumption to stand on your own opinion.
There is, however, one opinion that is very important. This opinion trumps all other opinions, including yours. It is God’s opinion of you.
Far too many people think that God looks at them in disgust seeing only an unrighteous sinner. If you are a born again Christian, nothing could be further from the truth. His opinion of you is written in the pages of the New Testament Church Epistles.
He sees you as righteous, holy and acceptable in His sight. There may be people who don’t accept you into their special little clique, but in God’s eyes, He has accepted you. Which do you think is better?
No matter what you do in life, learn and remember God’s opinion of you. It will help you greatly when other people’s opinions of you are lousy. It will also be a great help when you’re carrying a very low opinion of yourself.
God has accepted you and made you holy and righteous. His love for you never waivers and nothing can ever separate you from that love. He has forgiven you your sins; He sees you seated in the heavens, as His dear child.
That is the opinion that counts the most. That is the opinion that carries the most weight. That is the opinion of you that trumps all other opinions of you. Choose to believe it.