Are you a parent who is trying to force fit your values on your children? I know in my life, my mother totally spooked me about life. Perhaps because she was raped, she made me think there was a demon around every corner waiting to pounce on me. I grew up feeling very helpless against a world ready to devour me.

As an adult I realized that I looked to God’s Word for my security. But then something unhealthy happened. My older son once said to me, “Mom, why do you get so upset when I don’t agree with you theologically? I feel sometimes that you have to convince everyone to believe what you think because you get insecure if you don’t believe the same thing. The more insistent you get, the less I believe that what you are saying is true.” Wow! What a revelation! I had to confront myself, “What is your motive? Are you insistent because you are afraid of the consequences for those you love if they don’t follow what you believe is God’s will? Or are you insistent because you find security in believing what you believe and it rattles you if others don’t believe it.”

The answer was, “Both.” There are times I am warning someone out of my concern for them. And there are times I am insistent because I’m not sure and so it makes me insecure if you challenge what I am saying.

Oh from the mouth of babes, God corrects us!! Today, I stop myself when I get insistent and I ask myself, “How self-centered are your comments? Are you watching out for the person you are talking to or are you watching out for yourself?”

What about you? When was the last time you offered a strong opinion concerning someone’s behavior? Were you watching out for them or for how their behavior affects your world?

  • Han

    I came to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus partly as a result of someone’s very strong opinion. I remember feeling very offended–of the ‘how dare he…!’ type. Now, when I recall that exchange, I feel very grateful this friend (for he became a good one) spoke up. It happened in a Bible study in Bahrain, where I worked and lived alone at the time. This man walked up to me and said, “You’re married, right?” I answered in the affirmative. He followed up with, “So, why is your husband not with you here?” I proceeded to explain that the laws of the country did not allow for a wife to sponsor her husband to come over, to live and work. He looked at me squarely and very disapprovingly said, “You worship a small god”. I saw red, turned red but, held my tongue. The following week, before another Bible study, he walked up to me again but, this time, told me very kindly, “to expect big things from God, not just small things but also the impossible things, things only God can do, the God-things. He loves you forever, He loves husbands and wives. Ask like you’ve never asked Him before. See what only God can do!!” I did ask God that very night to allow for my husband to join me in Bahrain. In one month, my husband came to live with me and work in Bahrain. His papers were endorsed by a Sheik and approved by no less than the Minister of Labor of Bahrain. We lived there for close to 10 years. Strong opinion? For me at that time, it needed to be. My friend, James, was right. I worshiped small, making Him small. It was absolutely unacceptable!. Offensive, even. No wonder my soft-spoken, mild-mannered (I came to learn later) friend spoke up. He wasn’t looking out for himself. He was looking out for me!