Monday, June 14, 2010

What Opinion Matters

There are three categories of people whose opinion makes a difference in our lives. Each group takes a part in making a person who he/she is. Whether we know it or not, or whether we like it or not, the opinion of another person does contribute to who we are and how we feel about ourselves. The trick is to not let any of these inputs get out of balance.
  • A person's opinion of herself is important. Every human needs to have a realistic view of who she is. That means that we must all know what our strengths and weaknesses are. It was Socrates who said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." I could not agree more. We must know who we are, what we are good at, and what we cannot do. When we have a good grasp of who we really are, when we have an honest opinion of our abilities and limitations, then we can be a more complete person.
  • The opinions of other people is important. Whether we like to admit it or not, every person cares what others think about him. It is not always healthy, but it is definitely unhealthy to not care at all about the opinions of others. Take into account the person whose opinion you are considering. Does he have a good track record? Do you generally value his opinion on other matters? Is it his desire to build up or tear down?
  • God's opinion matters to a person. Unfortunately, God's opinion is often not taken into account in a person's self-analysis. We buy into pop-philosophies like "I'm OK, you're OK," and think that's all there is to it. Shame on us. We should consider what God wants for us and from us first.

There is at least one thing to remember though: You must have a balance between all of the inputs. It will leave a person insecure and flaky if he is only concerned about what someone else thinks. Likewise, you will find yourself egotistical and lonely if you think too much of yourself. Begin by listening to God, then mix in the other factors and you will be set. You will be on your way to becoming a well-balanced person.

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