It’s not hard to find an opinion. Our world today is full of them. Just as we each lead different lifestyles, pursue different careers and different interests, so our opinions are unique, personal and can be inherently vital to how we choose to live. So, in a world of opinions and relativity, where does the Word of God stand?
I do a lot of writing and I am thankful for the opportunity to use this passion that God has given me. At the same time, I am aware that I can write from the insight of my own opinion, and I want to be always careful to test everything against the Word of God. His Word is my spell-checker, my editor, my inspiration and my reference guide. If I counsel or encourage someone, I want my words to reflect God’s love and His truth rather than my own opinion.
Opinions are valid, but they are not always correct.
Something I see in our world nowadays is that every kind of opinion is being validated to the point of no argument. In our desire to prevent people feeling hurt, we have said that everything is ok. However, if we are willing to say that every train of thought is right, we destroy the value of truth. Furthermore, this kind of inclusiveness makes no sense. If everyone’s opinions became their right for action, the world would descend into a chaos where no rules or regulations could be enforced. Justice and order would be nullified. We would live in fear that at any time, someone with a different opinion could persecute us.
If we cannot rely on our opinions to be right, what then can we turn to in order to find truth?
God’s Word might be counter-cultural, but it is always truth.
Science is always changing, and we are always learning, but one thing remains. God’s Word has remained constant and true throughout history, persons and persecution. The Bible is the most widely translated book we have. It has withstood persecution and has more original copies than any other historical writing. Archeology has confirmed its stories, its prophecies have come to pass, and billions of people have testified of changed lives because of the truth contained in its pages – both first-hand witnesses with Christ, and those of us now who have experienced His grace.
Biblical principles have influenced almost every aspect of our society, even without our awareness of it. Respect for women, the abolishment of slavery, systems to care for the abandoned and vulnerable – all these can be traced back to Biblical principles, to men and women of God who brought these truths into society and saw a great change. People like William Wilberforce and Mother Teresa stood up in their time, basing their work upon the Bible with a firm conviction that they should do what was right in the eyes of God, even if it was against the culture of their time.
The truth of the Bible that stirred the disciples of Jesus to die as martyrs, and gave William Wilberforce and Mother Teresa their hope to continue living through various trials, is the same truth that gives us our hope and our life today.
How then do we live according to the Word of God?
There are a few general principles I think about when testing things against the word of God and they all come back to one thing – God’s character. The ultimate purpose of the Word of God, is to reveal who He is to us.
[1 John 1:1-2] – “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – that life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us – ”
So, what do we discover about God’s character from His Word? Here are just a few things to start us off, but the revelation is never-ending and that is the treasure of the Word of God!
- God wants us to love Him, and love others [Matthew 22:27-29]
- God has a heart for the fatherless, the widows, and the lonely [Psalm 68:5-6]
- God has appointed the authorities on earth, and we are to honour and obey them [Romans 13:1]
- But ultimately, God is still our true King [Daniel 3:17-18]
- It is ok to disagree, but we should still honour one another [Romans 14:13]
- Honouring one another means laying ourselves down [Philippians 2:3-4]
- Whatever we do, we can do it unto God [Colossians 3:23-24]
- God is in control, no matter what [Isaiah 55:11]
To quiet myself and hear what God is saying daily; His Word is my direction, my hope, and my life.