A few months ago now, while I was home, I had a strong craving for pepper soup, I got my ingredients out, cooked my soup and was fortunate to have my friend and her sister around to eat with me. I’d say we had a sumptuous dinner with loads of compliments too on the meal.
We went to bed that night and the following day, after greeting my parents, the next conversation my mum delved into was ‘What was that you cooked last night?‘, (bearing in mind she had seen and tasted it). I responded saying pepper soup and as I expected from the earlier question, my mum followed it with ‘that can’t be pepper soup‘, and then followed that statement with a list of all that did not make it pepper soup.
I laughed with her about it, still insisting it was pepper soup and I left their room with such a defensive heart, assuring myself that my pepper soup was so yummy and other people who ate it, loved it. I drew all my comfort from knowing that my friend and her sister ate it and complimented it.
The Holy Spirit brought this event to my heart about a week ago and He said ‘you will always find comfort in the opinion that favours you, but that opinion might not always be the truth‘. I definitely agreed with that, because it is a human need to want to be appreciated and desired, so it is only normal that we will tilt to the people who constantly appreciate and desire us, even with our imperfections.
But The Holy Spirit continued, teaching me that my pepper soup tasting great in my friends mouth and tasting wrong in my mums mouth did not mean that either of them lied, it just meant that they both has varying thresholds for what great pepper soup tastes like, and so the difference was not in my own cooking but in the threshold they both had prior to tasting mine.
Now, truly, my mum is an amazing cook and while I got defensive, I knew that she knew exactly what she was saying, but my human nature wanted to just build my tent in the opinion that made me the favoured one and this made me despise my mums thoughts on the food.
The Holy Spirit started to use this to teach me about correction, explaining that those who have gone ahead are often more likely to tell us the truth than those with us, while it is not always the case, the point was just to ensure that we do not despise superior counsel over us because the people around us have given us a more convenient opinion. For all you know, the comfort in that opinion might be the stumbling block to your growth in that area.
I was reminded of Rehoboam in the bible, who chose to take his peers advise over that of the elders because the advise of his peers appealed to him more. This error ended up costing him the throne and his life.
Sometimes, the contrary opinion isn’t always the voice of your haters or naysayers, it might just be the opinion that challenges you to be or do better, and so when it comes, rather than dismiss and shelf it, run it by the Holy Spirit to identify the opportunities for growth and commit to doing better.
Two varying opinions don’t always mean that one person is lying, sometimes, someone just perceives better and sees clearer than the other and judges from that place.