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  • Writer's pictureJ.D. King

Could You Be Beating People Up With Your Thoughts and Your Opinions? (3 Scriptures to Check Yourself)

Updated: Jan 24

I encountered a loud, overpowering man one time. He wanted everyone to come into alignment with his thoughts and opinions. This man wasn’t interested in establishing a relationship, he just wanted his way.

This is the type of attitude we see on social media and in other public forums. Many think everyone should be in sync with their mode of thinking. They have no room for anyone else’s opinions.

Christians have discovered a life-changing, world-transforming message they naturally want to share with others. However, those who love Jesus don’t want to come across harsh. They want to share what they’ve encountered, but not seem so overbearing.

It’s not always easy to know the best approaches, but, fortunately, the Bible shows us the way.

As New Testament believers encountered God, they weren’t afraid to step up with confidence and strength. However, they embraced a gracious posture. Believers gave people ample room to process what was proclaimed.

The early Believers were convinced that the work of the Spirit in the heart of their listeners would verify what they were expressing. They knew shaping lives was more than mere arguments and power plays.

I would like to highlight three examples of this sound biblical approach:

1. It Seemed Good to The Holy Spirit and Us...

After the Day of Pentecost, Christian leaders sent a message to the new believers that were coming in from the Roman Empire. They asserted, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements” (Acts 15:28). Rather than utilizing combative rhetoric, they merely shared precepts that “seemed good.” They offered their insights graciously.

2. In My Opinion . . . I Think . . .

When the Apostle Paul provided counsel to single women in the Corinth, he said, “In my opinion, it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this” (1 Corinthians 7:40). Instead of leveraging his lofty leadership position, Paul framed his appeal differently. He characterized his insights as “opinions “ and “thoughts.” Rather than speaking down, he spoke up.

3. My Conscience and The Holy Spirit Confirm It...

On another occasion, Paul spoke to some churchgoers in the Roman Empire, saying, “With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it” (Romans 9:1). In this instance, the apostle appeals to his conscience. Instead of taking a coercive stance, he invites his listeners to process what he is disclosing.

When one possesses truth or has experienced something powerful, it’s natural to appeal to these encounters. Sometimes, we might even feel justified in lording it over someone else. That, however, seldom brings the best outcome (see Matt. 20:25-26). As we seek to advance the cause of Christ, we must embrace an honorable approach.

I think Paul understood this, and he said:, ”Christ gives me the courage to tell you what to do. But I would rather ask you to do it simply because of love“ (Philemon 1:8-9). We don’t always have to flex to get ahead. World-changing influence comes not from coercion but from allowing space for individuals to respond to the revelations of the Lord.

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