Don't Be Trapped By Opinions

WE tend to form opinions and take sides about the littlest things to the largest, often without knowing it. In fact, we may not realize how constantly we're analyzing and interpreting outward circumstances. While individual preferences may make life interesting, we should bear in mind that opinions aren't always either factual or correct. They are one individual's viewpoint, and are inherently limited. And if they begin to influence in a harmful way how we act or think about others -- by making us critical, for instance, or intolerant -- then our opinions tend to limit us, as well.

I learned this a little more clearly not long ago. In my opinion, a certain situation I faced was very unjust. But when I became ill, I found I had to rethink how important my opinion was to me. As I normally do when I'm ill, I prayed to discern more clearly what I had been learning in Christian Science about the perfection of God and of His idea, man -- my genuine identity. I endeavored to understand that because such illness certainly was not good, had not been created by God, it could not be experienced by His creation, man, and I need not suffer from it. Suddenly I realized that the injustice that so plagued me was no more God-created than the symptoms of illness! Didn't that mean I couldn't suffer from injustice, either?

God is absolute. What God knows is not opinion, belief, bias, or viewpoint. God is the one infinite, eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent Mind. He knows His entire creation to be very good, and what He knows is true. What is not true, because it is not created by God, the only creator, is disease, hatred, fear, injustice, lack, sin, death -- anything unlike God, Spirit.

As I continued praying this way, the thought came to me, ``Your opinion of the unjust situation is not the issue. It's what God knows that matters. Ask Him what He knows, and accept this as what is true.'' With that, I felt a great sense of peace and love fill my thoughts, and the tension caused by my opinionatedness just drained away. I began to see the apparently unjust situation with much more love and patience. Immediately the congestion also began to subside and was quickly gone.

In the book of Acts we read of Saul's conversion. So serious was his antagonism to what he thought Christianity was that he was actively seeking out Christ Jesus' followers for persecution. The limitations of his opinion of Christianity were made evident to him when, on the road to Damascus, he was made blind. It was at this point that he heard, the Bible tells us, ``a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?'' Then, when Ananias put aside his own opinion of Saul as a danger to Christians and obeyed God's instructions to heal him, Saul became the bold and persuasive defender of Christianity we know as Paul.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, points out in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ``Mortal mind is constantly producing on mortal body the results of false opinions; and it will continue to do so, until mortal error is deprived of its imaginary powers by Truth, which sweeps away the gossamer web of mortal illusion.''

As we are willing at every point to let Truth, God, govern our thoughts and lives, we are able to glimpse something of spiritual reality, of the true view that brings healing. And what freedom and peace we find when false mortal opinions are increasingly given up and we learn more and more to base our lives on spiritual reality!

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