Everybody has an opinion. Most of them stink.

There is a saying that goes something like this: "Opinions are like dirty feet - everyone has them and most of them stink." If you breathing right now then you too have an opinion about something, whether it's about politics, football, or who makes the best hamburgers. On the surface, opinions aren't bad. Without opinions we'd have nothing but a bunch of wishy-washy people who could never make up their mind about anything.

Yet we all know how bad things can quickly go when opinions get tossed around too freely as they most often do. Social media has helped to spur the avalanche of opinions from all corners of the globe, turning message boards and blogs into verbal bloodbaths. When like-minded people gather together that can lead to a time of edification and growth in the sharing of similar opinions. But more often than not, opinions are used as daggers to cut rather than as instruments to heal.

So is it okay to have an opinion? Of course it is. Without opinions you wouldn't know what to wear each morning, what to eat for meals, who you were going to marry, what to study in school, etc. Basically, without an opinion you would be a functional zombie. But it's not that we have opinions that is the problem but rather it's what we do with them that causes collateral damage.

Take a look at Facebook. That place is an opinion mine field. This past election season left thousands if not millions of people "unfriended" as a result of their free flow of opinions. If you dare to venture to a sports message board you better wear your body armor. Opinions are sharp and dig deep on those sites. Blogs are often safer locales to vent one's opinion, but the flip side is that it can lead to unrestrained diatribes which in turn result in nasty comments left for the author.

So when should we share our opinion? When it's asked for and when it's needed. The first is easy enough, the second not so much. James spent a lot of time in his letter (James 3:1-12) warning about the misuse and abuse of the tongue (i.e., our words). Jesus is the consummate example of the words and He was constantly correcting His disciples regarding their free flowing opinions that ran contrary to truth. It takes a lot of wisdom to know when your opinion is needed and most especially when it is not.

It saddens me when I see those within the body of Christ express opinions that are anything but Christlike. Again, social media has (unfortunately) made this all too easy and prevalent. One moment a believer is posting a beautiful verse of Scripture and the next they are name calling a political candidate/athlete/fellow believer. Many Christians feel the need if not the right to stand up to matters of truth on social media outlets, yet far too often their opinions are based not upon the truth of God's word but rather a tradition or mindset they adopted years ago. I know many who are still mending fences after this past election season.

When it comes to your opinion, know that you possess the right to have an opinion but not necessarily the same right to share it. Consider others before you consider yourself. Let your yes be yes, and your no be no. And please, don't make a mess by vomiting too many words.


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