The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that. (Proverbs 29:25)
How many of us are subject to human opinion? If you don't think you are, ask yourself if you go to the 4 or 5 star items on that online store, reading the reviews of the products you are considering. If you do, you are subject to human opinion - reviews are actually a form of offering one's opinion of a product, service, or place. We all rely upon human opinion just a little bit - even if it is to swerve right as we are going down the road as we have seen the three drivers in front of us do already. We don't know why we are swerving, but based upon what we have seen, we respond similarly. That is the bad thing about human opinion - we respond similarly based upon what another thinks or feels. If you have ever read mixed reviews of a product, you know how conflicted you can be in reading them. You know some absolutely love the product, while it totally disappointed others or simply didn't meet their expectations.
Opinion is based upon two very dangerous things - expectations and performance. How many of us know performance doesn't always match up to expectations? Performance doesn't always match up to promises, either! The grounds upon which we base an opinion may not be sufficient to form a 'solidly reliable opinion'. One thing I have come to count on is how well a product performs. If I see the laundry detergent reduce my need to apply stain removers, add bleach, or even 'rewash' items, I am more likely to repurchase that detergent. Why? I have formed an opinion based upon reliable performance. If the manufacturer chooses to change the formula then the performance may change. Even the performance that I once counted on observing isn't consistent all of the time, is it? No wonder God tells us human opinion can 'disable' us if we count on it way to much!
If we count on another's opinion of us, we certainly will be subject to being weakened and sometimes even unable to perform as we usually would have performed. Why? We are crippled by their expectations - either because we know we cannot match up to them, or because they keep changing! Performance will waver - we are humans subject to 'varying' performance based upon skill, energy, reasoning capacity, and even desire. There is only one individual whose opinion really matters - Jesus. His expectations never change. They are consistent and revealed to us plainly in scripture. We don't have to 'guess' about what he will desire to see - the performance he will expect. We can be free of human opinion when we come to the place of recognizing only one expectation matters - love the Lord your God with all your heart. From that stem all other 'performance', such as loving your neighbor, taking care of the needs of others, and extending grace even before it is sought. Just sayin!
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