20 Feb Opinions & Belly Buttons
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
Ephesians 4:1-2 NIV
Many of us have heard of that saying – it goes something like this: Opinions are like belly buttons, everyone has one and they all stink. Ok. I’ve honestly never understood this saying in its literal context. I remember asking a few people about this saying. Here’s the thing, my nose cannot reach my belly button. So, I don’t smell anything! Another thing, I would think the average person takes a daily shower; why would the belly button smell if we are engaging in proper hygiene?? This may be funny, but I just never understood that part of this saying. I’m pretty sure I’ve even asked my husband to smell my belly button, trying to figure this out (I’m also pretty sure he refused!). This is what happens when I over-analyze a simple saying!
Anyhow, here’s my opinion on opinions: I think we need to practice more discretion and quiet when it comes to opening our mouths. Because we are in an era of social media and receive news at the literal tips of our fingers, EVERYONE seems to be in the loop when it comes to certain events and unfortunate circumstances. And it also seems as if everyone tries to chime in on the situation. We’ve all done this. I guess it’s now part of our nature in the 21st century.
Recently, a singer made negative social media news headlines when she sang her own rendition of the national anthem at a basketball game. I remember getting ready for bed that night when I learned about this event. I didn’t hear this rendition until the following day, however. In all transparency, I feel my sleep is more important and therein laid my focus. Hehe! Anyways, I listened to it. I honestly cannot pinpoint why, but my first reaction was empathy. Or maybe this is the result of the inner counselor in me. Whatever the reason, I was not amused in the sense that it was a great comical relief for me to listen to. This woman gave what she believed was something wonderful as an artist and for her audience to enjoy. It was not received in this manner, but the opinions all over social media were quite a sight!
There’s that other saying: If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
I can remember certain times in my life where I may have done my best in an area and it fell flat on others. And I’m sure you can think back in your life on events that may have had similar effects. Why are we so mean to each other? Why do we have to allow our opinions dictate what we post for everyone to see?
Most of the time, my blogs are for fellow Christians, and this one is no exception. Dear Christian, if you have an issue with someone, or don’t have a kind opinion about another, please don’t let people know. You really do not have to let the world know through a tweet or post, or spreading it in conversations to others. It’s not necessary. You know why? Because the way you deal with an uncomfortable situation tells us what kind of person you are. Yes, we all fall into this trap because we are human and flawed. However, we have that choice to not open our mouths and let the world hear our opinions; even those opinions that include Bible verses. Any of us can justify what we say with Scripture, that doesn’t mean we are right (obviously, when correcting someone in Christ there is a certain way to do it [doesn’t include an audience or social media, by the way] and most probably Bible verses are included, but this blog is not about that). I also think it’s easier to press “Delete” on that potential post if we just take the time to examine how our words can potentially hurt someone. Hey, let me be clear on this – I don’t exempt myself from this post. I think we all need constant reminders to be careful with our words.
I LOVE to see and hear stories of reconciliation and restoration. I think it points back to the kind of God that we serve. But, when the toxins of opinions are spread out, it makes it more difficult to attain that reconciliation. And at the end of the day, we should be reflecting the amazing love of our God. With that said, let us all keep in mind that we have the power to harm others with our words, but we also have the choice to pick the right words; words that are gentle and patient, that will help build each other up in the godly way we should.