My sweet friend Lauren graciously wrote for us today. She’s on the mic today, show her some love. Thank you Lauren!
I’m Right and You’re Wrong
There have been a lot opinions flying around my Facebook feeds, comments sections for blogs I follow, in line at Starbucks, and even at church. Not that opinions are anything new, but lately it just seems that there are a large percentage of people who don’t know how to keep their mouths shut. Let me tell you something about all these people around me – they are all wrong. That’s what I said – every single one. Oh, and I’m right. You read correctly. I’m right and you’re wrong. Now before you go and start sending hate mail and hurling your opinions at me, please keep reading to the end.
Everyone has an opinion. I like mac and cheese and the color green and hate the beach and am not super fond of pizza. Those are my opinions. I can still be your friend if you think pizza was God’s greatest gift to the world and the beach is your number one destination for fun. The world is full of differing opinions on politics and ice cream flavors and favorite actors and colors. You can’t escape them. God made each one of us unique, and, even in public school (again, hold the opinions on school) we all learn that everyone is different and unique and we should all get along and hold hands and sing Kum Ba Yah. Having an opinion is normal and 100% okay! I’m just saying there is a fine line between opinions and judgment.
Just for you visual learners out there, here are some examples:
Opinion: I like vanilla ice cream.
Judgment: I can’t believe you don’t like vanilla ice cream. That’s weird.
Opinion: Public schools are best.
Judgment: I feel so sorry for all of those home-school kids. They have no chance at success in life.
I could go on, but you’re smart people, I’m sure you get it. The Bible is full of verses about not being a judgmental ninny (my words, not the Bible). To name a few, Matthew 7:1-5 talks about not judging others who have a speck in their eye when you have a log in yours. John 8:3-11 is the account of when Jesus says the famous “If any one of you is without sin, cast the first stone.” James 4:12 says there is only one judge and, guess what? It isn’t you! Ephesians 4:29 says this: Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
That one is my favorite. Allow me to paraphrase, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So stop being a Judge-y Jane (or Joe) and remember the difference between your opinions and judgment.
Remember, way up at the beginning I said that I was right and you were wrong. I’m serious about that. I already touched on the uniqueness of each one of us. I’m sure you are all familiar with Psalm 139: 13 and 14. That’s the one that says God knit each one of us together in our mother’s womb, he created our inmost being (which I am sure included our personalities and ice cream preferences) and that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Some translations say remarkably and wonderfully made. God doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t. Even when it seems like He is wrong, trust me, He is right. Not only are we each uniquely made, God has a plan for each of us. Another favorite verse of mine is Jeremiah 29:11.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Let me walk you through this.
1. God made each one of us unique
2. God has a plan for each one of us that looks totally different from the plan for anyone else because we are all different (see above)
3. If we are all unique and we each have our own plan laid out for us then the things I do are right for me and then things you do are right for you.
4. You shouldn’t pass judgment on God’s plan for someone else. You are basically telling God he is wrong or made a mistake.
So when you are furious that you are having to make alternative vacation plans because your new sister-in-law hates the beach – stop! God just made her like mountains. When you can’t figure out why none of your kids like sports when you were the star player in high school – stop! God may have given you a poet. And when you are sitting there telling someone who their kids are high maintenance through the anonymity of the online world – stop! They may seem high maintenance to you because they aren’t part of your plan. When you are laying into someone for homeschooling their kids – stop! Homeschooling isn’t for every family and I’m guessing if you are harping on them for choosing it for theirs, it isn’t part of your plan. Obviously, we can’t make the internet understand this concept and it is hard when you are dealing with the negativity and misery of some people. I think that is when we need to stop and pray for them that God moves in their hearts. You can’t change people, but you can change the way you think about others.
Lord, my prayer today is that you teach me to hold my tongue and still my typing fingers when I come across a situation that I am eager to pass judgment on. I thank you that you made me who I am and that you have a plan for me. Please help me to remember that my plan and opinion are unique to me and it is dishonoring to you to pass judgment on your plan for someone else. Amen.