“… but only in expressing his opinion”
We live today in a world of many voices, many opinions and many opportunities to express them. There are ‘tweets’ and ‘blogs’ in abundance on the internet where people express their views on matters and comment on those of others. Newspapers have Opinion pages on their sites and in print. Polls are taken, especially by politicians, to see if the opinion of people about them is still good, or fairly so.
Our thoughts flowed along these lines after we read Proverbs 18 this morning and noted verse 2, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only in expressing his (or her) opinion”. Then in verse 4 that “the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook” of clear fresh water for us to drink and absorb into our minds. In the final chapter of God’s word there is the invitation, “let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17).
God’s word provides that fountain of wisdom and as we began reading Paul’s letter to the Philippians we noted how he told them “you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel” (1:7). The gospel was firmly established and it was now a matter of defending what had been established “and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (verse 10). Sadly, in the centuries which followed, more and more followed their opinions than going to the fountain for pure water.
Paul goes on to tell them he longs to “hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (verse 27). You are to realise, he tells them that you must “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (2:12,13). Let us ‘stand firm’ so that it will be our great joy on the day of judgement – to see the source of that pure water that we have held on to – so it has guided us throughout our life from the day we first drank of it.