An old friend of mine used to say (and probably still does), “If you don’t have an opinion, take mine. It’s better than yours.” (For the record, he would use this phrase long before “deciding what others’ opinions should be” became a national pastime.) It’s not a bad philosophy for those who don’t know what to choose from a list of valid options, especially when following a trusted source. On the other hand, as I’m sure he’d agree, this is no substitute for clear-headed thought and wise decisions.
Personal preferences are one thing. We may like different styles of writing, different sports teams, and different foods, and that’s OK. These sort of differences make life colorful and interesting.
However, when it comes to objective truth, we find quite another matter. Physicists and scientists seek to understand the mechanism of gravity, but if we jump across a giant pit and count on gravity to reverse so that we don’t fall in, we are setting ourselves up for a fall. In the same way, although light may seem fickle – behaving as a particle or a wave, depending on the circumstances – if we dispute that it exists and stare at the sun on a summer day, we’re probably going to burn our retinas.
You are welcome to disagree with me, but I don’t think that God has opinions (at least, not in the same way that we do). After all, He sees all, knows all, and holds sovereignty over all. His nature is truth and holiness, so He already has all of the right – and righteous – answers. In addition, He doesn’t have to pick and choose favorites that He can invest in, since He has the ability to be loving and just for everyone (rather than we human beings, who can’t do everything at once).
However, God’s nature is not like that of a scientist, philosopher, teacher, or social media influencer. Yes, God created all of those people in His image, but as the creator, He is far greater than any person. Because He knows the truth, and doesn’t have to go out and find it, He can share this truth with us without requiring any study or speculation on His part. Because His power and reach are not constrained like ours, He can act upon the truth without having to get consensus or approval from His creation.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
With this in mind, we shouldn’t expect God’s truth to look like what human beings have concocted on our own. We shouldn’t expect God to act the same as finite, fallen, frail people. In fact, I think that once we appreciate the difference between God and ourselves, it becomes easier to trust and obey Him. This faith is not blind or ignorant, though, because it is founded on millennia of history and our own experience. In fact, as we do see a small fraction of the wisdom in God’s actions, we can observe how His holiness is based on more than we can ever know here on earth, and that His love remains consistent throughout.
So, if you don’t have an opinion on something that could have a moderate impact on your life, it’s a good idea to seek out what wise, mature, and intelligent people have decided for themselves on that matter. If you have an opinion about something that is fundamental to both your mortal self and your eternal soul, though, it’s definitely important to find out what the Author of both said is true about those things. The result might mean giving up your opinion, but when we are on the wrong path, that is a small cost in exchange for something far better.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.