Don't Be So Dogmatic - Why Being So Opinionated Is Unhelpful

James Preston Reply 4:51 PM
I am one of the most opinionated people I know. I am also one of the most gentle people I know. It's one of the strangest combinations you could ever have. Praise God for my gentleness, or else I'd be a hack to live with!

Martin Luther made a statement (among so many pearlers) that ranks right up there as one of my favourites...

"Self-righteousness is the default mode of the human heart."

I doubt he was a psychologist, but this is one of the most important observations of the human race any human has ever made. Because it is so true.

Our own personal opinion is the one that matters most. The opinion that we believe is the correct opinion. Everyone else is wrong. And it will take a lot of evidence to prove otherwise. And if you don't get my opinion, I am going to give you and show you mine until you do get it!

I saw this first hand when I had the immense and humbling privilege of "seeing" the Grace Message in its clarity like never before. It came by supernatural revelation. I had heard the facts for about 3 years straight. But all it took was one fateful night in 2009 for me to "see it".

But what I noticed over the next few months was intriguing... People who had also "seen this Message in its clarity" became worryingly harsh about it. Knocking those who didn't quite understand "it" yet. And publicly, too.

I am equally to blame. I had a few brainfarts of my own on Facebook for which I am deeply ashamed of and sincerely apologise for. These "brainfarts" came from a place of self-righteous bigotry where I knew it and they didn't!

This bigotry pushed people away. Instead of inviting them into a study of their own, we pushed them back into their corner arming them with more reason not to jump in our water.

This wasn't "The Message's" fault. It was our human nature's fault. Our self-righteousness. What we believed was right dammit! And if you don't believe it then you're wrong! That self-righteous dogmatic approach hindered people's reception of this Message. But it doesn't change the Message one bit.

But that's beside the point of this post... This post is about our dogmatic beliefs. Not one particular belief itself.

This self-righteousness spans across all platforms: Technology, sports teams, politics, travel, religion, health. You name it. Self-righteousness is everywhere.

Opinions count. And they matter. And they're important. Without them we wouldn't change the world. Without a little bit of passionate dogma we would remain a passively loose-wristed society. But we must somehow find a means to give space for a change of opinion. And most certainly respect the opinions of others.

I am no saint. Trust me.

I am unfortunately deeply opinionated. But I do my best to ensure those opinions don't offend. My best doesn't mean I get it right all the time, but I try.

May we all respect each other's opinions, and be more mindful of how our opinion may affect our audience.

We can't convert everyone. And sometimes, our trying is only going to enforce their standpoint. Let's do our best to Love, and let the opinions come later.

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