Plain Lesson on Public Opinion
Plain Lesson on Public Opinion
Words of Faith 4-27-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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The teaching of Jesus in the "Sermon on the Plain" in Luke 6, deals with four specific worldly values. The world says that the highest goals in life are to be rich, feed our appetites, be happy, and be well thought of. For the world, this is what life is about. These "Plain Lessons" deal with four areas are arenas of conflict in our lives between the world and the Kingdom of God. Today we will look at the matter of public opinion.
 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.  "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.  Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.
The world says: Be well thought of at any cost. Jesus says: "Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets." What do we make of this?
The last value conflict that Jesus raised was that of opinion. We do not have to seek fame and celebrity to be addicted to the opinions of others. We can easily become slaves of opinion around the house, in the office, in our neighborhood or at church. We can find ourselves making weighty decisions based upon the opinions of others. What will the neighbors think? What will so-and-so say? How will this group or that group respond? This is the world of politics big and small. In the world truth, is relative and based upon the winds of the latest public opinion poll.
We can find ourselves going to great effort and extreme to be well thought of. As a culture we spend huge amounts of money to manage images carefully. Billions of dollars are spent each year just managing and maintaining personal appearance. But the problem goes far beyond cosmetics.
In the world, sadly, people will sell out everything in order to be well thought of. Jesus says that this is the way of the false prophet, doing anything and saying anything in order to spoken well of. Morality and ethics are for sale in the arena public opinion and often in the arena of the church. Perhaps this is why Jesus said it actually can be a blessing when there are some folks who hate you or exclude you or insult you or reject your name as evil, because of Jesus.
Bottom line? When we make the opinions of men our god or our goal, we will surely miss the Kingdom.
How do we respond to this? Do we forget about the opinions of others? Unequivocally, yes. There is only one opinion of you that matters and that is the opinion of Jesus. Should we seek to live above reproach? Yes. Should we avoid even the appearance of evil or sin? Absolutely. Should we seek to avoid causing our brother to stumble? Definitely. And probably in that order!
Number one is always to make the opinion of the Lord above all other concerns. In the end, His evaluation of your day, year or life is all that matters.
But ultimately, your relationship with Jesus is far more likely to cost you some friends in the world than to gain you any. Ultimately your relationship with Jesus is going to cause some in the world to hate you, exclude you, insult you, and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.
The Apostle Paul wrote that "we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life" (2 Cor. 2:15-16). There will always be those who are offended by the fragrance of God in your life.
In the big scheme of things, having a "good name" in the world will not be nearly as important as serving the Lord your God whose name is always good. When we are rejected or maligned? "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets."
Have you caved in to the god of opinion seeking to be well thought of at any cost? We win the battle when we surrender to God and make Him the only thing we seek, and hunger and thirst for.
Father God, I submit to the opinion of One. I give myself wholly to You and seek only Your review. Show me how to live my life today, not for anyone but You. Show me how to be a good testimony for You without compromise. Show me how to walk with integrity even when the world speaks evil against me. Set me free from the opinions of others so that I may serve You in freedom. In Jesus' name.