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  • Writer's pictureToni Wilbarger

A Matter of Opinion

You may have heard the saying, “If I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.” This quote is attributed to three people: Canadian educator Laurence J. Peter, filmmaker Samuel Goldwyn, and notorious criminal Al Capone (not sure who said it first). A twist on the line reads, “If I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you.” This is attributed to both Chuck Norris and (strangely) Elvira. Here’s some other amusing versions:


  • If I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it.

  • If I want your opinion, I’ll remove the gag (or duct tape).

  • If I want your opinion, I’ll ask you to fill out the necessary form.

  • You have a right to your opinions. I just don’t want to hear them.

  • Remember when I asked for your opinion? Yeah, neither do I.


Although some of us think along these lines from time to time (or may have even said one of them in jest), I wonder if we weigh the impact of the phrase. We’re essentially telling the other person we don’t care about their thoughts; we know we’re right and that’s the end of it. The people on the receiving end, however, may infer that besides not caring about their thoughts, we don't care about them, either. Not quite the manner in which God wants us to deal with each other. In Proverbs 18:2 (NIV), it says, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions.”

I recently read a study that explored the idea of dying to self. In simple terms, it means Christians now live for God, not for themselves. We follow Jesus, not a political figure, entertainment celebrity, sports star, or any other person or ideology. There’s a fascinating quote by George Müller, a Christian missionary who founded schools and orphanages. He said, “There was a day when I died, utterly . . . died to George Müller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will—died to the world . . . died to the approval or blame of even my brethren and friends—and since then I have studied to show myself approved only unto God.”  

Did you catch that? He allowed his own opinions take a back seat to those of God. Are we ready to do likewise? When we don't understand what God says in His word or how He works in our lives, we still accept that His words and His ways are better than ours. Truth is, our human desires don’t always mesh with what God knows is best. We can’t see the bigger picture—the eternal perspective of an all-knowing God who always works for our good. That’s when we rely on faith and trust.

I’ll admit when our troubles seem overwhelming and we can’t find the way out, it can be hard to trust. I still don’t know why five days after my dad’s “everything-went-wrong” bypass surgery, my father-in-law was rushed to the hospital with severe chest pain. Both our fathers in two different hospitals at the same time? I remember at one point telling God, “I have a bone to pick with you!” But God can handle our anger, our tears, and our doubts. And He doesn’t leave us to face things alone. God saw us through that time with His comfort and peace and by sending family members and friends to pray for and support us.

Okay, I get it. You can say this is just my opinion. And you’d be right. So, check it out for yourselves. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT) reads: "'My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,' says the Lord. 'And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'”

So, if you’d rather not, you don’t have to agree with my opinion. Just make sure you listen to HIS.


Until next time,


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May 12
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for the reminder that even words said in jest can hurt! May we speak words that build up!

Sandy Beach

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