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Do Not Be Wise In Your Own Opinion

Do Not Be Wise In Your Own Opinion
25-Ways to Honor God-Number 20

Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV)

We are looking at a series of devotionals which are revealing 25-ways to bring glory and honor to God - these are actually duties or responsibilities for every Christian. We find these 25-ways in Romans 12:9-21.   

Today we will be looking at the 7th and final of our "Duties to All People" as Christian men and women. These are our duties to "All People," including every Christian believer, or non-believer that we come in contact with.  And that 7th duty is also our 20th way in our series of 25-ways to honor God.

20.    "Do not be wise in your own opinion." (Romans 12:16c)

This can literally be translated, "Don't be conceited!"

Conceited people will usually display attitudes of being arrogant, proud, vain, smug, stuck-up and snobbish.  Combine this with their belief that they have superior knowledge, and you have a recipe for disaster.  

All too often, people get caught up into their personal opinions and they give these opinions the merit of being an absolute truth.  Unfortunately these opinions are often far from the truth according to God's Word.  It is absolutely essential that we be willing to refrain from speaking forth things as truth if it is opposed to what the Bible teaches.  It is equally essential for us to be willing to held accountable when we are wrong.

There is nothing wrong with giving opinions, but we should always clarify when it is our opinion verses a biblical truth.  Too much confidence is put into the opinions of men and their writings rather than the Bible, and many are being led astray from false teaching.  The Apostle Paul warned Timothy of this very thing, as errant teaching was corrupting the early church.

O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge - by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.  Grace be with you. Amen. 1Timothy 6:20-21 (NKJV)

So we are to guard ourselves in the same way - we need to be careful of the teachings that we receive - bringing them up continuously and comparing them to the Bible.  

We should never feel as though somehow we have reached some sort of spiritual milestone and have therefore been looked upon as special. Every one of us should remain humble and submissive to the will of our Lord.  And we can only find out His will by reading His Word daily (See Rom 12:2).  It is by this that we are transformed and blessed - not by any doing of our own. We should never think that we are in any way wiser than any of our Christian brothers and sisters.

Those who are "Wise in their own opinion" tend to be self-promoting, self-seeking and envious - they will speak out fallacies against the truth of God's Word in an attempt to work their way into a prominent position with the Body of believers.  We see James speaking of these people in Chapter 3.

But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:14-18 (NKJV)

A self-promoting Christian is an oxymoron - his or her self-serving actions are no more Christ-like than an unbeliever. (Mt. 16:24; Jas 3:14, 16)

Another characteristic that can happen to those who are conceited or wise in their own opinion is that they begin to discriminate against certain people in the body of believers.  They attempt to lure or attract certain types of people into their circle of influence. Maybe they like to hang out with all the wealthy or successful people, or pretty people, and so this is the type of people they want to bring along side themselves.  This is not how we are to be - it is not biblical, nor is it what God modeled.  

Well, the next study we will start to look at our last section of duties as Christian believers, and that is "Our Duty toward Personal Enemies."

Good stuff!  Or should I say, God stuff?

STUDY QUESTION: According to 1Timothy 6:20-21 what should we be careful of with regards to those who speak to us?  What does this scripture say about the things that they are saying that aren't backed up by Scripture?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you found yourself in the presence of people who have many strong opinions about religion or faith, and yet they cannot support it with the Scriptures?

APPLICATION: Always look to support the things you hear with the Word of God.  Guard yourself against those who would twist, change or distort certain scriptures and take them out of context.  The best way to do this is to look at how the scripture was written; what the circumstances were; who it was written to; and then look to see if it is consistent with the rest of scripture and not conflicting.  

Father, Thank You for giving us Jesus as an example to model the correct way of being humble when serving others.   Lord, Thank You for the wisdom of Your Word.  Help me to remember it as I walk through this day so that I may apply it to my life and keep me walking correctly.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000