I’m convinced that many Christians think too much. Let me explain. It’s not a matter of learning, using common sense or exercising your intellectual abilities. What I mean is that people put far too much weight on what they think instead of being concerned about what the bible says.
Here is a news flash for you: God loves you but doesn’t give a rat’s butt what you think. He is not sitting up in heaven taking a poll on the public opinion here on Earth trying to decide if he should alter his rules based on what you or anyone else thinks. Seriously, I don’t think that God calls all the angels together and says, “You know, I believe we should make some changes around here. After all, Susan, Bobby and all these other people think that it’s ok to live together before marriage. Jane and John and their friends all think it’s ok to commit adultery because they really love this other person. Maybe we need to change our policies.”
God is actually God and he has thoughts, ways and standards that are His and His alone. He tells us in scripture what to do and how to behave, and your opinion on it is irrelevant. I don’t even care what I think because it simply doesn’t matter. The bible says “thou shall not kill” or “thou shall not commit adultery” and I never even consider asking myself the question, “But what do I think of that?” All that matters is what God says and what God thinks. I base my choices and behavior on pleasing Him.
On judgment day your opinion won’t matter because God is not going to go by what you thought of his instructions and commands. After all, it’s not like what God says is merely a bunch of suggestions to follow only if you like them, if they are convenient and work for you. For instance, the bible says Christians should meet together regularly. Yet you might say, “Yeah, I know I am supposed to go to church, but I don’t really think you have to. I think a person can follow God without actually going to a building. I think I can find God by spending time in nature or just praying and listening to CDs of sermons.” Who cares what you think? And by the way, you are wrong. God’s word is God’s word and what He says trumps what you think.
How about as Christians we start reading the bible and actually do what it says. It doesn’t matter that you think it’s not necessary to attend church or give money. You are wrong, because God says you should. He doesn’t care that you think it’s okay to commit adultery or divorce your spouse because you just aren’t happy. You are wrong. We are believers and our life and actions should be based on what the bible says—what God says. It should be our aim to please Him and make Him happy.
Here’s an analogy to help in understanding this: Let’s say you really want to please me. Maybe you’re trying to impress me in order to get a job, or get me to do something for you and you want to make me happy. Wouldn’t you try to figure out what I think, what I want and like and then act accordingly? I may ask you to bring me something to drink and the people who know me tell you, “Hey, Mark really likes hot chocolate—not cappuccino.” Now if you want to make me happy, then you’ll bring me hot chocolate. What would happen if you decided to bring me cappuccino anyway? I might tell you that I don’t like cappuccino, and if you reply, “Yeah, well, I know that, but I really like it. I think it’s good. Lots of people like it. There’s nothing wrong with it. This is perfectly good cappuccino so I brought it for you anyway.” I would look at you like you were crazy. You acted according to what you thought, but you didn’t please me. It wouldn’t work for me and it won’t work with God either. You must do what pleases Him.
People intentionally disobey the word of God just to make themselves happy and are insulting Him in every conceivable way. They want his blessings and do not make any connection between the way they are living their lives and the obedience God requires of us. I’ve had couples who are living together and having sex, sit in my office and ask me, “Pastor Mark, we have all these struggles and issues. Why isn’t God blessing our lives?” I explain to them that they are sinning and doing all the wrong things but they just do not get the connection. They rationalize and justify their sinful behaviors and wonder why things aren’t going well for them! Many people expect God to be there for them and meet their needs and bless them regardless of the fact that they are blatantly insulting His word and standards by doing all the wrong stuff.
I will hear people, who apparently know the bible, say crazy things like, “Well, I know the bible says such and such, but I don’t think that really matters. That isn’t really what it means. I don’t think God will hold us to that.” Talk about arrogance. Millions of people do this all the time and they actually believe that what they think is all that matters. There are others who truly don’t know what the bible says. If you are one of those people, you really need to read it to find out and then do what His word tells us to do. But don’t run it through your philosophy or filters. Don’t let the pop-psychologists, self-help books, Oprah, your friends, family or even some pastor tell you that what you think is all that really matters.
The bible tells us in Romans 12:3 “…Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…” Be less concerned about what you think and more concerned about what God says. Learn what pleases Him and live according to His ways. As Christians we need to stop “thinking” about the bible and start obeying it.