The source of most of our stress, if not all of it, is our opinions and judgments. Opinions and judgements cause me great fear, which in turn causes me great stress. How, you might ask, do opinions and judgments cause us stress? Because we inherently know that our world is not controllable by us. It was never supposed to be. We are intended to live facing God as our reality. He is our Father and Shepherd who cares for us and leads us. My opinions and judgments are simply my attempts to mentally control the uncontrollable.
But I Have Opinions
For instance, perhaps my belief is that you should change your diet for your health’s sake. I can back that belief with facts and figures. “It is better for you after all!” But this judgement is just my attempt to control.
Control is trying to play God, which makes me afraid because I am NOT God. This fear causes me great stress, and this stress eventually will affect my health. So was my attempt to “fix” your poor health worth it? Certainly not! My health bore the due consequences of trying to play God in your life—my sickness and separation from God.
Think with me of the fruits of our opinions. Are they benign or malignant? I contend that the fruit of my opinions and judgments is stress, and that stress leads to death. Stress will probably be revealed as the number one root source of most illness and disease. Notice I didn’t say cause, as many things make us sick. But I believe it will be shown that most of our illnesses stem from the compromise in our immune system related to the stress in our lives.
The Stress of Stressing My Opinions
With my opinions, I can conjure beliefs that God is mad at me, or even hates me. My opinions can rob me of relationship with God. Yes, the realm of my opinions has no bounds, even to the Divine. I can opinion my way straight up to the Throne of Grace and tell the King of Glory what He thinks. WOW!
Here is what I am learning about all this. I am here to be a witness of His Life not an arbitrator of its reality. No one, especially not God, has set me up with a judgement seat. I am a witness of His Life and Will. I have been given the unique position to watch Christ and His Ways. I have even started practicing resting in the moment, as an observer, not a judge. I look to see what God is doing and where He has me rather than determining what is happening.
I have a perfect example of this. The other day I heard of how an individual was being abused by someone. I was horrified and indignant. I can’t say that I was righteously indignant, because I exploded. I fretted and fumed to a boiling point (not pretty). Actually, I did it twice about two different situations. My OPINIONS and JUDGEMENTS were painting the town red. So I stormed off and went to a quiet place. (Well, it was quiet once I stopped yelling.)
Once I stopped and looked at God, He rushed in to extinguish my opinionated fire. He literally turned the first situation about, so instead I began to praise Him. Yep, I was literally thanking Jesus for what He did that I didn’t see with my opinions on high alert. After I got quiet, the second scenario sent me to my knees in prayer, and there I received Christ’s hope and vigor that the Lord was going to use the situation as a firebrand to burn up the enemy. Hallelujah!
Neither of these circumstances needed my opinion; they needed my witness to what the Lord Himself was doing. Our sovereign God doesn’t need us to dictate or direct events with our judgements. He needs us to witness the hand of the Almighty orchestrating His world and events. I am choosing to leave the stress of opinions and rest in the arms of my Father. It isn’t as if I won’t have to set them aside again, because our opinion makers are always firing. But my choice is that I don’t give them legs to run too far ahead of my stopping to consider what the Father wants to show me—that He is in control and that He is on the job.