“If God were our one and only desire we would not be so easily upset when our opinions do not find outside acceptance.” ― Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
Scripture text: (1 COR 4:1-5)
Brothers and sisters:
Thus should one regard us: as servants of Christ
and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Now it is of course required of stewards
that they be found trustworthy.
It does not concern me in the least
that I be judged by you or any human tribunal;
I do not even pass judgment on myself;
I am not conscious of anything against me,
but I do not thereby stand acquitted;
the one who judges me is the Lord.
Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time,
until the Lord comes,
for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness
and will manifest the motives of our hearts,
and then everyone will receive praise from God.
A saying made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous goes like this: “What others think of me is none of my business.” That’s a good reminder to all of us that people’s opinions about us shouldn’t rule our lives. When they speak something negative about us, it really says more about who they are than it does about who we are. Conversely, what we say about other people reflects back on us. In the final analysis, the only person we have to please is God. What a peaceful world this would be if everyone adopted this philosophy!
However, it’s not that opinions don’t matter. We all have likes and dislikes. We may disagree strongly with a co-worker, a political figure, or a family member. We may not like the way a particular ministry is run. We may even have a favorite priest or homilist. There’s nothing wrong with these, as long as our opinions don’t put walls between us and people we disagree with. We have to remember that charity is the most important thing, because it is the virtue closest to God’s heart.
If you are getting distracted by what someone is doing or saying, take a moment to focus on Jesus. Remember that he died not only for you but for everyone who disagrees with you. He loves each of us with a love that is total and unconditional. Ask for that love to penetrate your heart more deeply. Let his grace help you to see all the people around you—even the ones you disagree with—as his sons and daughters and as your brothers and sisters. Jesus’ love has pulled down “the dividing wall of enmity” (Ephesians 2:14). In Christ, we are truly one!