Not All Opinions Are Equal

And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth                                                                                                                                                                                 Acts 17:11

We Americans are highly opinionated. Maybe not more so than people in other countries, but I kinda think so. That’s my opinion. That is not backed by any scientific fact of which I am aware, but I think I will stand by that.

I am on this topic because I read a blog some time ago which challenged the readers to consider the value of their opinions. We all have a right to believe whatever we want, and truly, people have some beliefs that are “out there”. That’s OK, because, we have this beautiful right to hold opinions and freely express them. People in some other countries do not have that right, that wonderful luxury that we have as Americans.

However, just because we have an opinion does not make it right. Some opinions are backed by research, study, and diligent thought. Some are backed by nothing more than our own hunches, gut feelings, and affirmations of like-minded thinkers.

Luke, the likely writer of the book of Acts, applauded the Bereans, saying that they were, “more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.

The Bereans evidently did not just take Paul’s teaching whole cloth without checking out the facts for themselves. Luke gave them credit for being open-minded, and willing to search for the truth. The Bereans were searching for truth, not just something that validated their own worldview. They heard a new message from Paul and Silas, and they wanted to check into it for themselves. They searched the scriptures to see if Paul’s message was lining up with the best validation they could find.

Social media is filled with opinions. Some of it is re-posted opinions that have been long debunked as untrue. We all have the right to post whatever we feel is important information to be shared. I also believe that we have the responsibility to check into the supporting facts or research of those opinions before we spread them around.

I trust that we can be more like the Bereans who were diligent in searching for the truth, checking the facts as best they could, and being open-minded in that search.          

Prayer: Father, thank you for your truth, which sets us free, Amen

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