This has been on my mind this week as I recognise that leaning on other people’s opinions has played a part in some of the worst decisions I’ve made in life.
Maturity is coming to a place where you trust what the Spirit of God is saying to you. You trust your own gifts and God-given ideas.
Relying on the opinions and views of others creates a false safety net, it gives you a temporary sense of assurance in case things go wrong, but in reality you are not safe at all.
When God gives you an idea or a plan, He also gives you all of you need to bring it to fruition. Sometimes that means connecting with the right people but the decision on whom to connect with also lies with you. Spreading your idea around and cherry picking from the pool of other people’s views is dangerous. Too many cooks do not make the broth tastier. Your gift, not the gift of others will make room for you and your gift lies inside you, not them.
I sat back and began to observe the circumstances in which I took on the opinions of others when I shouldn’t have. I noticed that it tended to happen when I shared my thoughts with someone I loved or admired, held in high esteem or they were simply strong when putting forward their views. I discovered that if I was unsure about something, then shared it with someone who was so assertive or sure of themselves, their opinion was placed higher than mine and I’ll run with it.
I have now learned to mull over things and work on it first before asking if I must ask, for input from others. It may be out of laziness that we avoid the process of thinking through an idea, rather we want the finished result presented on a platter by someone who seems to be an expert at presenting finished ideas, in other word someone who appears to have it all together.
When we do this we are living only skin deep as opposed to living from the inside out.
I have also learned not to talk about an idea or plan that I am still very uncertain about. There must be some degree of comfort in it before I put it out there, that way I am on fairly solid ground and won’t be easily toppled over when they begin to shoot holes in them.
I am not denouncing getting advice from people, but I am suggesting we learn to dig deep and unearth what God has placed in us, trust it before allowing the opinions of others to be a part of it. And even when that is done, we are to be objective.
“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.”
Ephesians 4:13-14 NLT