<<view, judgement>>

While there can be varying viewpoints between individuals, the truth always remains the truth and our thoughts are to come into agreement to God’s Word.  Spiritual unity is essential in clearly defined areas of Bible teaching and church doctrine however, in non-essential areas people can have different opinions yet still maintain unity and co-operate together as they respect and tolerate opposing viewpoints. Some early NT believers were commended for their diligence in checking out the teaching they had received that it agreed with the Scriptures and was not just Paul's opinion (Act 17:11). We are to let the Word of God transform our thinking so our views are not just warped, worldly sentiments or the variable, different flavours of teaching that come and go but life-challenging words, expressing thoughts directed by the Holy Spirit because we have matured in Christ (Jn 14:10; Rom 12:2; Eph 4:13-15). It is essential to study the Scriptures, to get a clear understanding and grasp on its teachings, as well as being committed to His purposes.

Our upbringing, mental attitude, spiritual maturity and personal tastes are factors that influence how we look at things yet an opinion is seldom the truth – just a biased and preconceived view, flavoured with prejudice and favoritism.  This is why a wise leader has many advisers providing their opinions and insights on any given course of action in order to give a balanced approach. A true and accurate judgement can’t be quickly made on the basis of an isolated, single encounter as it will often change when new information comes to hand (Prov 11:14, 15:22, 18:17). Unfortunately, most people would rather their view be reinforced, than it be challenged, even if it is wrong or distorted.

Endeavour to have a balanced opinion of yourself by believing and embracing the true wholesome things God declares about you. Reject the negative, false assumptions and opinions of others so these words don't destroy your self-esteem or sense of value, while truthfully recognizing your own faults and weaknesses (Rom 12:3; Gal 6:3).  These

Don’t be defined by someone else’s opinion of you

blemishes in our lives and personalities should be addressed if possible – maybe even inviting those who pointed them out to help correct and hold you accountable. 

Rather than emphatically verbalising our viewpoint on every topic, why not make it a habit to keep quiet on trivial matters while speaking up for and reinforcing the non-negotiable important truths that God expects us to live by. We are not to spiritualize what is not spiritual, by creating moral and spiritual laws about what is neither moral nor spiritual. The Pharisees were rebuked by Jesus for doing this (Mk 7:8). Even today within the Christian community there are strong views shared on numerous issues yet we must acknowledge many of these are our personal convictions and not principles of the Word (Rom 14:1-23). This chapter teaches we are not to judge another in non-essential areas or act in any way that causes another to stumble even though we are fully convinced that certain practices are right or wrong for us, with our conscience not indicating we have violated our value system, yet aware we will give account of ourselves to Him. Not being of the same persuasion on various matters should not cause a breakdown of relationships; instead it can be stimulating to explore the viewpoints expressed to see if these beliefs or values that are upheld or rejected by Scripture

See also: conscience, controversial issues, convictions (1), facts, judging, non-negotiable, self-esteem, thinking/thoughts, truth, unity, value, viewpoint.