I have taught in public education for over 20 years now and have noticed a shift in student's attitudes regarding accepting authority. Some time ago a student sent me an email because he was unhappy with an exam score that epitomizes what I am trying to explain. He told me: "Your degree doesn't mean you know more about this subject than I do! You can't tell me my answer is wrong!" Perhaps it is our concern with our children's self-esteem that we have taught them that their opinion matters in everything; that their opinion is the authority.
I fear for us in this. I fear that this attitude is also reflected in our obedience to our Lord's will. I've grown weary of hearing: "I think," or " I believe," or "We each have our own interpretation/definition of it, so it doesn't matter," in reference to interpretation of the Lord's will when the Lord is very clear on the subject. But, it is so much easier if everything is just left up to what I think, right? After all, if that is true, we get to be in control and we get to make rules, He doesn't, right? Don't we just love that? But, it just isn't true. He is very clear concerning His will and what He wants. So perhaps a review is needed of what He said on matters that have become thought of as "opinion." Perhaps it is time for an "I" examination (2 Tim. 2:15- study to show yourself approved). Maybe we need a reminder that we don't make the rules,that we aren't so important, that we are just to told follow Him; to follow Him, the one who paid for us with His blood, and has prepared a beautiful heavenly home for us, if we are faithful to Him and yield to His will. (John 14: 1-15, Rev. 2:10, Heb 10:23, Matt. 7:21, I Cor 4:1,2) His rules, His home.... not mine. He gets to say who enters, not me.
Consider these matters of "opinion":
We said: “The Lord doesn't say I have to teach Bible class, or help someone else, I’m just not good at it. The Lord doesn't say I have to visit the sick; those places creep me out. I just don’t have a nack for talking to people I don’t go because I’m too shy. Besides I'm just so busy with work and the kid's games and such. Besides, that stuff just isn’t my thing, and others will do it.”
He said: “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” Matthew 25: 26-30
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’" “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’"Matthew 25: 31-43.
We said: “I know I don’t have to work on Sunday morning, but I get overtime pay and we would like to expand to a nicer, bigger place that is out of our price range right now. Oh, and we still owe on that four wheeler, and that new car. I just can’t give up the overtime.”He said: “Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” … The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6: 19-21.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24
~~~~~We said: “I’m just so tired and need to relax on Sunday nights and Wednesday nights. After all, Sunday morning is all that is required.”
He said: “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10: 19-25.
He did NOT say: “It will be easy.”
He DID say: “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?” Luke 9: 23-35.