Do you have strong opinions?

Are they so strong that no one can tell you any different?

If  anyone disagrees with you, do you fold your arms around your chest, plant your feet in the concrete of your opinions, and stand your ground?

I must admit that I’ve been like that. I went from having no voiced opinion to someone who voiced an opinion on everything— whether I knew what I was talking about or not.

When we come across to people as entirely opinionated,  not only do we close our arms to them, but they will not open up to  us. This is an important point when raising children, especially teenagers. If we want them to let us know what’s happening in their lives, then we have to plant fertile ground for that. And that may mean keeping some of our strong opinions to ourselves.  It doesn’t mean we let them have a free ride, but that we allow them to have an opinion as well, and that we listen to it. We greet them with open arms, and then we discuss pros and cons on both sides.

This is important in connecting with all people; family, friends, acquaintances.  When we close ourselves off with our singular opinions, we may close them out of our lives entirely.

And it’s the same with our relationship with God.  People with such strong opinions often ‘buck’ God’s laws because they ‘just don’t agree.’ How prideful is that!

How many times do we–especially as Catholics–say “Well, I believe this  teaching, but I’ll never believe that one.”

Or,   ”I’ll love this person, but not the one across the room.”

There is certainly a time for opinions. We need to have them. But we also need to be careful not to close our arms completely to those who may disagree with us.

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Copyright 2014 Kaye Hinckley


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