Opinions

I have been so lucky since I started this blog, that I have not yet, touch wood (he says tapping his head), received any negative or condemning comments or responses to any of my posts or comments, on either my posts or other bloggers posts.

I say this because this week my two biggest supporters have faced criticism and nasty comments, one has received them from a relative stranger and the other from a so-called friend, my prayers go out to both of my friends in the hope that they rise above this and continue blogging and supporting our fellow bloggers.

I am full believer in freedom of speech, after all our ancestors fought for our freedom and right to an opinion.  We all have a right to our own opinion, we all like different things, we all find interest in different activities, we are all so different, therefore our opinions and interpretations will inevitably differ, that’s what makes the world interesting.

But our opinions are all equally valid, that’s why we have a right to them.  We all have free will, we all have choices, even God doesn’t interfere with our free will, he lets us make our choices and find our own way, but He is always there to forgive and pick up the pieces when we make the wrong ones.

So does anyone have the right to force their opinion on anybody else, well I believe categorically that is a NO!

I wasn’t born into a Christian family, in such that their roots were a Christian background but they were never practising Christians, but I was brought up on certain principles that followed the laws of the land, which ultimately are based on the Bible and good Christian beliefs.

I was brought up to respect others and if I couldn’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything.  That isn’t always the easiest thing to do, we all bite sometimes and say things we don’t mean, we often reflect on what we’ve said and realise the mistake of our words and wish we could take them back.

My opinion at the end of the day is mine, it really is only valid to me, why should I force it upon someone else, what makes my opinion more important than that of my friends or even my enemies?

The answer is nothing, they have I right to theirs and I have a right to mine!

I am more than willing to listen to other people’s opinions, as long as they are voicing them and not forcing them upon me, I will listen to their opinion and analyse it against my own, if I find that I agree, then so be it that is my choice.  If I don’t agree then I simply choose to accept that is their opinion and I have mine, that’s it, simple, we move on in life, we carry on as normal, no harm done.

When someone tries to force their opinion on me again, I have the choice whether to listen or not, sometimes I just don’t listen I let them talk over me, generally I listen and simply dismiss it, at others times I have cut people off or I just change the conversation.  Again if I choose to listen I will analyse it and compare it against my own.

There are occasions when I feel that the opinions of others are greatly floored and really they are being led wrongly, I try to state my opinion to them and leave them with the choice, but I won’t force my opinion, I don’t generally argue unless I really feel I am wronged, if it is simply a question of opinion, rather than action, I will leave it at that, leave it at a differing of opinion and move on.

The bible tells us about the planting of seeds, it is stated in Luke 8 that Jesus tells the parable of the sower, to be careful where you sow the seed of God’s word, to ensure that the roots take firmly in good soil for them to grow in God’s word and “hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience”, but I also think there is something else here as well, something that I think is key to sowing correctly to your fellow humans.

If you talk to me about your beliefs and leave it at that, it allows me to take it in and think about, then later down the path we may talk about it again, I can take in a little more and consider that too, eventually I may take it in and come to agree with you, but I will not if you just throw everything you have at me all in one go.

As stated when an opinion is forced upon me, I honestly tend not listen, some of their opinion goes in, but I just carry on with my life and carrying my own opinion.  If they continue, then  their opinion or seed falls all in one place, their seed just drops in one big pile, I may be good soil, but if you just pile your seeds in one large pile, they simply won’t grow, no matter how good the earth is.

So this goes back to the parable in a way, sow your seeds on good earth, but all good farmers spread their seeds out along the field of good soil, not just in one pile, they sow plentiful, but spread them out so each seed has a full chance to take root and grow, in that way when you look back upon that field there will be a large healthy crop, otherwise a pile of seeds will remain, just a pile of seeds.

When my life fell apart and Gareth my Pastor came to see me, when we sat down the first thing he was at pains to say was that, this meeting was not about God or religion, it was about me getting the help I needed to sort out my problems.  During the evening he mentioned one passage from the Bible, we talked briefly about God and he asked if he could pray for me, which I agreed to, I had a choice, it wasn’t forced upon me.  Because he took this slowly, slowly approach throughout the evening I became intrigued and eventually asked questions, to which I was given honest answers and left to think about them.  Nothing that evening was forced upon me, but because of Gareth’s manor and approach, I found myself questioning my own beliefs and opinions, I was given time and space to consider and let the seed grow, then as you know a few days later I started praying, then I quit drinking a week later, then started attending Gareth’s Church, life from that day has been so different, I am completely changed by the one night.

But it could have been so different, if he had tried to force God and religion on me, labelled me a sinner and demanded I do such and such to in order to redeem myself, I am sure I would have turned the other cheek once again and continued with my life of self-destruction.

Faith is of course everybody’s choice, we all have a choice whether to choose faith or not, I won’t force my faith onto anybody else, just like I won’t force my opinion, I will talk about my faith and my journey with God and what he has done for my life, that is then their choice whether to accept my opinion on faith and question it further or dismiss it and carry on with their life, if I keep talking about it over time, they may eventually accept it for their own, but that is their choice, it’s their free will, but my seeds will have a better chance if they are sowed evenly spread, not just thrown in there in one big pile.

So all I ask is that people who read my posts and comments, consider my writings and my opinions, if they choose to disagree, then I don’t mind people stating their opinion for me to consider, but please do not force it on me, don’t try to force an argument, by all means state your believes and leave it at that, don’t get derogatory or abusive, there is honestly no need for it, we are both entitled to state our opinions, it’s our own free will and our right.

I know this is a bit of a ramble and really it is not my argument to fight, but as much as I dislike opinions forced upon me, I don’t like them forced upon my friends either, it is disrespectful and rude, please if you feel the need to state your opinion to someone else, do it with dignity and out of concern for your friend, not out of the need to empower yourself.

The days you said you were smarter
We knew you were harder
They’re over
And the days, you told us to grow up,
Told us to shut up, they’re over
But I promise the words that you said,
Stuck in our heads
They’ll come back to haunt you,
To taunt you
Keep you from sleeping, keep you from eating
I promise
(Cottenmouth (jargon) by Seabird)

18 thoughts on “Opinions

  1. jennyelaine

    Wayne, I appreciate that!! Scripture says that if we are a true believer in Jesus that we will face persecution….so I expect it. However, it is sad, very sad to me, when it comes from those who see the gospel as a place that tells us to essentially point our fingers at sinners and bully and coerce them because they are sinning….then when someone says something about *that* then they get mad about it and spread ill words about them. >> This happened to me. I see the gospel as a place that Jesus is the overwhelming factor, not our human sin.

    If someone began pointing out my sins in public before I was saved, I would have run the other way….so I say something, but privately as scriptures says, altho rarely I have said something in public in certain circumstances.

    Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      Hi Jenny,
      Thank you for your comments. I’m lucky so far I haven’t really faced anything negative either on here or in my everyday life, I’ve had the odd playfull jibe at work, nothing serious just workmate banter, but that stopped sometime ago.
      I will hopefully rise above any negatives I receive, I know how I sinned and I know I still have work to do to get past that, after all I have been judged by the onlty one that can and forgiven for my past.
      Wayne

      Reply
  2. writerwannabe763

    I appreciate your words because sometimes it is necessary to remind people of what you say. I know of one recently who was hurt ….and some months ago it happened to me. While I engaged this person for awhile to help her to understand my thinking it became evident that no matter what I said..it was not acceptable so I then disengaged because Christians should not …at least I don’t believe carry on a ‘spiritual’ disagreement openly and thus perhaps causing non-Christians to be confused and therefore decide if that’s what it’s like to be a Christian…’no thanks’! Diane

    Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      Hi Diane
      In the past I too have witness those that claim to be Christians condem others, I have taken that “opinion” that if that is what it is to be a Christian then count me out.
      I am so lucky to now be in a Church with people who do not act that way. I am lucky too that the Christian followers of my Blog have also shown nothing but support.
      I am blessed to have such good friends.
      Wayne

      Reply
  3. ranthegauntlet

    This post and comments fall gentle on my heart…I’ve seen and felt too much of such harshness in the name of Christ. It’s good to hear people encouraging one another to wise and loving communication. Blessings! Diane

    Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      Hi Diane
      Thank you so much for your comment, we should all be free to write and post about our lives and beliefs without fear of condemnation, let’s support each other and help each other.
      Wayne

      Reply
  4. misswhiplash

    when i first started blogging two years ago one of the first posts I read was from a young lady who had be criticized , insulted, and verbally injured. Her post said that she was never going to write another blog because people were so horrible to her. I felt very sad about that because her previous posts had been most interesting and I could not see why she should have been treated this way. I have tried to contact her on Facebook , just to make sure she was ok but I never received a reply.

    Thankfully the right to free speech is available to most of us and I for one am grateful that I live ina free country where every word has to be watched. Nobody on WordPress has any right to so opinionated that it causes someone else problems. Maybe you may not agree with what someone has written and if you are not able to comment in a polite and constructive way..then it is best to say nothing at all.

    These people who are causing problems should be reported to WordPress and failing that maybe exposed to us all so that we can all be on our guard.

    I like to say what I feel and mean what I say, but I do try not to stir up problems . I feel that this is my right! However I think also that I could be easily hurt by nasty critical reaction, especially from those I do not know.

    Yours was a very good post and explained the problem clearly. so is there anything that any of us can do to help?

    Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      Hi Patrecia
      Thank you for your comments, it’s a shame that people are frightened off from their Blogs, it’s is cruel and unfair.
      I think that both of my friends will continue, I know one who going to discontinue for a while has decided to just carry on as she enjoys it too much to give it up, she is rising above it and good for her.
      It’s a shame there isn’t a block facility like on Facebook.
      Wayne

      Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      Hi Sue
      I have actually been thinking about this since our Church small group meeting on Wednesday when we discussed how to approach none Christians and sowing the seed. I favour the little bit at a time approach, so I started to think about the spacing of seeds, rather than just throwing them all at once, I’ve not heard anyone mention this before, but I liked the idea of what I had visualised and after reading my friends issues on Friday decided to post this.
      I am so glad you enjoyed it.
      Wayne

      Reply
  5. thoughtsfromanamericanwoman

    This was well written and I agree with your friends who commented. We all do need to reminded that all thoughts and opinions are valid and the importance of not hurting other people. Words cut worse than knives…we should all be careful of our words. Blessings – Patty

    Reply
    1. waynemali Post author

      Hi Patty
      Thank you for your kind comments, it’s so true words can destroy souls, we should be more careful how we voice our opinions of others when they post honestly about their lives and experiences, in the end who are we to judge them anyway.
      Wayne

      Reply

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