Your opinion matters to us. Really? How often do we hear that these days? Buy a product
on-line and the next day they email you wanting your opinion or a review. Make a phone call about a product or service and before you get down to business you are asked (electronically, of course) if you would stay on the line afterwards and complete their survey giving your opinion. Turn on your radio and whether it’s sports, weather, the news or a talk show, someone solicits your views and opinions on the subject at hand. How many stars do you require from Amazon product reviews before you buy? Did all those 1 star and 5 star reviewers actually buy and test the product? Hmmm?
In a culture where it seems every opinion carries equal weight and every view adds to the pile, we can get pretty puffed up about people being interested in what we think. By the way, the Webster definition of opinion is “a belief or idea put forward with confidence but not substantiated by direct proof or knowledge.” Is that the stuff one hopes to build life upon? And yet, opinions populate our airways and media outlets tempt us to receive them as truth rather than see them as the hollow pretenders they really are. Social media . . . well, never mind that!
In the 1992 film classic A Few Good Men, the striking line from Tom Cruz was “I want the truth!” Do we want the truth, or do we want what we want to hear? Of course the response Cruz got from Jack Nicholson was “You can’t handle the truth!” I wonder at times, can we? Or more directly, do we want to? The Christian culture is not immune from surface understanding and shallow reasoning. More and more we have become reliant on someone giving us the goods, giving us their “take” on matters rather than us digging down and doing the research ourselves. We do this to our own peril. More and more we prefer watching a movie to a book or having a 30 minute weekly message suffice rather than doing personal reading and hearing from the Spirit. It’s not that we’re not capable of digesting most scripture. We are. And there’s no shortage of scholarly and reliable resources available to enhance our personal quests into truth where further clarity is helpful.
We need truth. Undiluted, unvarnished truth. Granted, we may not always want or welcome it, but Christians or not, we need it. In the scriptures God has prescribed how a “good” world operates. He gave us (believers) standards and understanding to live by faithfully so that we might illuminate to all just how we might meaningfully relate to Him and to others in a mutually fulfilling way. King David, as blemished as his life was, got it. “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” (PS. 119:160) Jesus’ prayer to the Father on our behalf was “Sanctify (set apart for sacred use) them by the truth, your word is truth.” (Jn. 17:17)
Many buildings in our country on campuses of “higher” learning have this abridged promise inscribed on them: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” as if being a student there is the pathway to truth and wisdom. That sounds lofty and “right,” doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. In actual context, Jesus was speaking to those who believed in Him and began with a prerequisite qualifier. “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32) Let us, as followers (disciples) of Jesus, ascribe to the conditions of this promise of knowing “truth,”forsaking mere “opinions,” and listen to Him and become even more diligent in the personal consumption of His word, the word of truth. Think About It.