Yesterday, a dear friend and I went for a hike and spent some time praying together. As we climbed the mountain, we were talking about all the opinions out there right now. It seems as though people are more polarized than ever. In fact, I told my friend how earlier this week I had gone for a walk and encountered a loud protest at one of the main intersections I needed to cross. Protestors were shouting their opinions. Is protesting wrong? Not necessarily. However, we must be wise.
As I was reflecting early this morning on how polarized our culture is, I opened my Bible to Proverbs 18. The wise writer of Proverbs wrote, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions” (Proverbs 18:2). Ah, there it is! Boom! As followers of Jesus, we must not delight in airing our own opinions. Instead, we are to prioritize listening in order to understand and praying for wisdom. We are living in difficult days. Most of the issues of our times are not answered easily. We need discernment and wisdom more than ever! Who is the source of our wisdom? God. James wrote, “If any of you lack wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). God is far less judgmental than we are. When we feel confused we can go to Him for wisdom, and He gives us wisdom and doesn’t judge us for asking.
What are the principles of wisdom? Here are just a few:
Be Quick to Listen and Slow to Speak. This principle is as important within your family as it is within your community. The early church was also polarized with opinions and this is part of why James wrote, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19). Wowza! He could easily preach that message from the pulpit in today’s church, right?! So many times, without realizing it, we become infatuated with our own opinions. We love to hear ourselves talk. We love to be perceived as “the expert.” Here’s the thing: In too many words, there’s usually sin (Proverbs 10:19).
Pray More and Speak Less. Your tongue, my tongue, is a mighty weapon. It holds the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21). Make it your goal to speak less and pray more. God is the only One with absolute wisdom for these wonky days. When all the opinions start flying, get on your knees. Pray against the spirit of confusion and pray for the Holy Spirit’s wisdom.
Chase Humility Not Honor. We love honor. I mean, who doesn’t love it when someone honors you? But God’s Word is clear; we are to pursue humility rather than honor. Even Jesus, who had every right to be honored in every way, did not seek to honor Himself, but humbled Himself and sought to honor God the Father (John 5:41, Philippians 2:6). Ah, as followers of Jesus we are called to be humble. We are not to exalt ourselves, nor our opinions.
So what should you do if you realize you’ve become obsessed with airing your own opinions? Get on your knees, confess your sin and ask God to forgive and purify you. Ask the Holy Spirit to make you obsessed with Jesus and His opinions. Ask Him to shape you into a person who listens more attentively, prays more, and chooses humility over honor. This is a prayer that God loves to answer.
On October 4-8 I will be one of the speakers for the Gentle Parenting Summit.
I will be speaking twice and doing 2 LIVE question and answer sessions. If you have kids in the home, you don’t want to miss this summit! Please help me get the word out. You can register for free using this link starting September 20: https://gentleparentingcoach.vipmembervault.com/af/145480221/1100884
Or, you can register here and have an all-access pass: https://gentleparentingcoach.vipmembervault.com/af/145480221/1105950