Have you ever had someone respond to you, by saying: “but I think…”, followed by a lengthy explanation of his or her personal opinion?
It happens all the time, doesn’t it? And far too often, it occurs in areas in which the person you are talking with has absolutely no expertise and experience — whether it is in the field of business, law, education — or, of course, religion.
Especially when focusing on the true worship of God, everybody seems to have an opinion — and many times, it is “THE one and only correct position.” Far too often, it is something comparatively negligible which has become THE issue of salvation in the person’s mind. But God is not interested at all in your or my OPINION — He does not care what WE may think — and neither should we.
When God calls us to His way of life, He expects us to give up OUR opinions and replace them with the way GOD thinks.
Notice what God tells those who believe that they are wise and full of understanding: “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile” (1 Corinthians 3:20). Paul even remarks: “And if anyone thinks that he knows anything [especially something “new” which only he or she is able to “see”], he knows nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Corinthians 8:2).
But this is not what the human mind wants to hear. Rather, we are, so often, far too anxious to justify our thoughts to God — or His true ministers — rather than taking a deep breath, stepping back, and considering whether our thoughts are futile or vain in the eyes of God.
Notice Paul’s question in Romans 9:20: “But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God?” The scribes and Pharisees at the time of Christ have become known to us as those who seemed to be always ready to argue with God. We find this telling report in Luke 5:22: “But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning in your hearts?'” Christ had just forgiven the sins of a sick person (verse 20), but “the scribes and Pharisees began to reason, saying, ‘…Who can forgive sins but God alone?'” (verse 21). They were suffering from the typical “but I think”- syndrome. They did not agree with what Christ was doing or saying. But rather than submitting to God, replacing their thoughts and opinions with the mind of God, they began to reason and justify their own positions. They should have done, however, what Paul tells us to do in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty IN GOD for… casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every THOUGHT into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”
Even members in God’s Church have to be careful not to embrace the “but I think”-approach, which clouds Godly understanding. Maybe, we don’t openly argue with God, but what about arguing with God’s true ministry, when they teach and expound to us the Word of God or Godly principles? Let’s notice Hosea’s warning to all of us today: “Now let no man contend, or rebuke another; For your people are like those who contend with the priest. Therefore you shall stumble in the day…” (Hosea 4:4-5).
Next time, when we are tempted to say, “but I think…”, let’s reconsider and ask the right question instead: “What does GOD think?”