There are all sorts of personalities out there. Some are strong and vibrant. Some are reserved and finessed. But regardless of our personalities, all of us have opinions. Opinions are a good thing. It means you have a pulse. It means you feel. It means you’re engaged. It means you’re not indifferent. Have you ever tried to figure out which restaurant to eat at when no one in the group will make a decision? It can be a little frustrating, to say the least.
Recently, I found myself in Antelope, OR, of all places. I heard a woman say, “I’m an opinion waiting for a place to land.” I laughed. But then I wondered what would happen if instead of us always having an opinion ready to be expressed, we became a people with a compliment waiting for a place to land? What if we looked for the good in people? What if we actually built people up? What if we looked for ways to compliment others more, rather than being on alert to make sure our preferences and views are adequately expressed?
I’m not suggesting anything new, but I am suggesting that if we aren’t intentional, it’s easy for us to turn inward. It’s easy for us to worry about ourselves. It’s easy for us to believe that stating our preferences and getting our way somehow equates to our sense of value.
Putting ourselves in the center of our world may seem necessary to some, but it will ultimately disappoint. Thinking our opinion is always right only builds pride and independence. Eventually, if we state our opinion strongly enough or frequently enough, we’ll end up surrounded by people who agree with us. And that’s not a positive thing, in case you’re wondering. I promise you, everyone else will back away.
It’s human nature to put ourselves in the center of our world. However, God’s nature is something different. God’s nature is to serve, not to be served. God’s heart in Matthew 5 shows us that He blesses the gentle, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who are merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers.
God made all sorts of personalities and those qualities will be expressed differently in each of us. But all of His creation can choose to live out His nature – the nature of His Spirit that lives within His children – so we can bless and be blessed.
So, I’m challenging myself and I’m challenging you…
- What do you need to do to live in awareness of the good in people around you?
- How will you commit to exchange your opinion for a compliment?
- What’s one way you can bless someone who sees things differently from you?