Three Reasons I Don’t Need More Reasons
From time to time I see a post validating a human opinion with “reasons”. It seems if we can provide a list of observations supporting our opinion it carries more weight. The most popular lists of reasons are seven and ten since biblical numbers add even more credibility to one’s views.
This year I have vowed not to read any opinion lists. Here are my three reasons why (I remind you three is the number of the Trinity):
Opinion lists often mischaracterize others. They are laced with assumptions and presumptions, half-truths and insinuations. Lists play into stereotypes in an attempt to evoke a collective “Yea! That’s what we’re taking about!” But in the end, mischaracterizations are unfair and dishonest.
Opinion lists often take scripture out of context. It is amazing how a verse from the Bible can appear to prove something it does not. When something is not a clear matter of salvation we must make sure we are not leveraging the Word of God for our own purposes. In the movement of churches I serve we have a slogan that says, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty and in all things love.”
Opinion lists are often crafted in ways that insult and judge others. They claim to be humble, biblical and unbiased, but they can reflect hidden discontent and ill-will. List makers are certain they have proven they are right. Their targets sometimes dig in their heels and fight back. No one wins and the cause of the kingdom suffers.
Actually, I haven’t sworn off lists completely. Here are two for your consideration:
There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before1 me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You shall not murder. 14 “You shall not commit adultery. 15 “You shall not steal. 16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:1-17)
My suggestion for the New Year? Work on these lists first, and when you have them mastered, then you can start on some of your own.