The Tyranny of Public Opinion

Read:

“disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls..” Acts 15:24 


Reflect:

Turning points aren't predictable. They can’t be confined to neat little formulas. We sometimes hear about how to know God’s will. After some days, things began to stir in Paul. He was ready to go out again to visit new converts, preach to more people, bring them in. Paul was called to a real task. 


The kingdom of God is not an abstraction. It is a concerted, visible reality that is forged by the personal commitment of many members. A commitment without humble service, suffering, discipleship, and creative love is an illusion. The world has no interest in abstraction and, Jesus is impatient with illusions. 


Daily we are to make choices that are consistent with the gospel vision. It is incumbent on every believer to integrate their faith, intellect, feelings into their regular behaviors. Each Christian gives flesh and bone to the dream of God by using their irreplaceable, unique gifts and personality. The life of Jesus is refracted in a myriad of ways through His community. 


To be open to the way, the truth, and the life, we should find the unique task and expression Jesus desires in our life. There are many possibilities to fulfill the call. It was during some days and conversation with Barnabas that Paul’s plan would be rerouted. Even though there was a nagging concern over what others might think, for Paul there was only being obedient to the will of God. 


There is the tyranny of public opinion in our lives. It is a fear of, what will my neighbors, friends, and everybody else think? The expectation of others acts as a controlling pressure on our behavior. But for disciples, the claim of the kingdom takes precedence over what others may think. Only then can we, like Jesus, be able to maintain a freedom from the narrow judgments of those who would try to hold us back. 


The dream of God is more than a way of thinking, it’s more than a way of speaking, it’s a way of living, it’s life itself, moving, moving in glorious ways.


Respond:

Have you thought of Jesus calling you friend for sharing your days in doing His Will?