Yesterday’s blog post, “Christian Men Should Wear Suits and Ties to Worship” was met with some interesting dialogue. I’m afraid some people missed the whole point of the post. The post was not to promote the wearing of “casual” clothes to worship. The point of the post was to illustrate one area in which we tend to use our personal opinions as a standard for judging our brethren. And this kind of judging has got to stop.
So here is a little reminder about what Christians should do with their opinions.
1. Don’t Quarrel Over Your Opinions
Romans 14:1 says, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” Every one has an opinion and your opinion may have validity, but it is what it is; it is just your opinion! Remember that and decide not to quarrel over your opinions.
I certainly have opinions about how to dress for worship. I intentionally didn’t include them in yesterday’s post because they are just that, my opinions. I have been guilty of judging people – and quarreling with people – over my opinions, but I want to stop that.
2. Keep Your Opinions to Yourself
Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” And Paul says there are some things you need to “keep between yourself and God.” There is a time to express your opinion and a time to keep your opinion to yourself. We must learn the difference. If in doubt, you should probably just keep it to yourself.
I confess, I’m not good at this. I am an expert on my own opinion and I often want my opinion to be heard. But again, this is something I need to work on, not be proud of.
3. Use Your Opinions to Restrain Yourself, but Not Others
Romans 14 is all about how there are matters of personal judgement that must be handled a certain way. We must first remember that God is the Judge and we must submit to Him first (Romans 14:7-12). If God says don’t do something, don’t do it. Second, we must not do anything that goes against our own conscience. If you feel like doing something is wrong, then don’t do it (Romans 14:23). Third, we must surrender to the opinions of our brothers and sisters in Christ, without demanding they surrender to our opinions (Romans 14:13-22).
This is such a hard concept for us to grasp! We tend to think, “If I have to submit to their opinion and do my best not to offend them, then I should have a right to force them to do the same for me.” That seems rational, but it is also wrong! God wants you to treat your brothers and sisters in Christ as if they are MORE important than you (Philippians 2:3). So just assume that their opinion carries more weight than yours. I know that’s hard, but that’s the attitude we’re told to adopt.
Consider yesterday’s discussion on what we wear to worship. You are obligated – by love – to do your best to “give no offense” by what you wear, or by anything you do (see 1 Corinthians 10:32). In other words, submit yourself to the opinions of others and don’t wear what you know will give offense to someone. For instance, if you know you would offend your brethren by wearing shorts, then don’t wear shorts to worship. But at the same time, if someone offends you by what they wear – and you know it is just your opinion that is being offended – don’t judge them! That’s love!
This is the only way the church will function as the body of Christ; if we learn what to do with our opinions and the opinions of others.
I love you and God loves you,