While many opinions seem harmless, others can be cruel, unjust, or harmful to reputations. Some opinions can build up such a wall that all hope for the light of another viewpoint seems lost.
My dictionary says that the primary sense of the word “opinion” involves “fixing in the mind.” It goes on to say that it is “the judgment which the mind forms of any proposition, statement, theory or event.”
When we are going to vote for people or proposals in government, civic events, or even church, or we need to make a decision in our own lives, how can we make sure that we are resting our judgments on a certain and solid basis – on something more permanent than human opinion? One simple way is to begin with prayer to God, who is the Mind of each of us. We can always sincerely ask God how to think about any issue that crosses our path. This prayer may lead us to actively turn away from what circumstances are telling us about a person or situation, and to drop some fixed ideas we have habitually clung to.
Today as yesterday, God, our true Parent, tells us of the constant and all-powerful good that belongs to each of us and is our only real experience as His children. Prayer can help us feel the power of this message, even in the midst of conflicting opinions. When we want to make the best decision – to follow our highest sense of what is right – we can prayerfully acknowledge each person’s oneness with Mind as the perfect image and likeness of intelligence. We can know that only Mind gives us pure thoughts, which reveal present harmony and clarity.
At one point, I was contemplating a change in my work. The choice would have meant moving away to do a new kind of work in a very different living arrangement. I felt it was prudent not to talk casually about this possible change because it was so different from my then-current situation. When I went for the interviews, I vowed not to appraise the situation humanly. In other words, even after weighing the pros and cons, I didn’t want to let my decision be based solely on human factors; I wanted divine direction.
I needed to know that the Mind guiding me in this possible new direction was the same Mind that animated those interviewing me. The whole process became less about what others thought about me, or what I thought about them, and more about being receptive to the revealing of God’s plan of good for me and all those involved. I knew this plan could never vacillate or be unsafe.
When the interviews were over, I felt a sense of peace, knowing that God’s plan was ruling my experience rather than human opinion or appraisal. I knew nothing could stop God’s plan. I soon sensed that the new direction would be a right fit, and as it turned out I was offered the job shortly afterward. This experience showed me how God’s sound direction outweighs the power and presence of mortal opinion.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and of this newspaper, wrote in one of her books, “The opinions of men cannot be substituted for God’s revelation” (“Retrospection and Introspection,” p. 84). How important it is that our thoughts about our work, family, and whatever is going on in the world are edifying and aligned with God’s goodness!
When we are asked, “What’s your opinion?” we are free to think as Mind, God, causes us to think. This basis will bring more progressive and spiritually enlightened judgments, and it will never fail to give new light as needed on any issue.
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