Delusions, Illusions, and Better Conclusions

by Rhonda Rhea

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.   2 Corinthians 10:4-5 CSB

Opinions. I have them. Oh, how I have them. Loud ones and high ones. Colorful and wry ones. I try to make sure I come up with three or four good opinions to have on standby—just in case somebody asks for one.

I’m not at all talking about “informed” opinions. Those are in an entirely different category. Informed opinions require research and contemplation. Reason and thinky stuff. Probably charts and graphs. That sounds like work. Plus, if you get too informed on a topic, seems to me you no longer have an opinion. What you have there is a conclusion. Wouldn’t that cancel out the need for an opinion?

A friend asked my opinion about Instagram several months ago. I told her I figure I’m only about one extra-large floppy hat away from becoming an Insta spokesmodel. She said that was a delusion, not an opinion.

Still, I recently heard someone offer an opinion that was even worse than any of mine. We all hear this one a lot. “Go with your gut.”

What? My gut? Like I’m not getting rotten enough ideas from my brain, now we’re going to check in with my colon? How is that better?

How about this for something better. Instead of forming baseless opinions and going with our innards, what if we prepared our minds the Jesus way, set our hope firmly on His grace, and made decisions based on the rightness and holiness of God?

Like this: “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:13-15 CSB).

To prepare your minds for action in the original context was to gather up the constraining robes so that a person could move forward unhindered. Hindrances begin in our minds as we let thoughts and opinions run rambly-like from brain to gut and back, unfettered.

Our actions are birthed in our minds. We’re called to be diligent—actively self-controlled—about what goes on in our headspace. Not necessarily ready with some wild opinion. But ever ready to replace self-thinking and worldly philosophies with the truth of God. And to let that thinking birth obedience and right living.

Conforming to the passions of our former ignorance, that unregenerate way of forming opinions, produces a continuous and frustrating inner battle. The ready mind Peter encourages is not one that excuses or rationalizes sinful thoughts. The ready mind reins them in—essentially rolling up the sleeves of our thoughts and putting them to work for the Kingdom, all in the power of Christ.

It’s fruitless to try to fight the mind battle on our own. Paul reminds us, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 CSB).

So much for every “lofty opinion.” There is blessing, fruit, and a mind at peace as our thoughts are Jesus-captivated. This, I’m not afraid to say, is an informed opinion. Informed by the truth of who our Savior is—and how powerfully He works in us.

I’m sticking with that opinion. Not even once checking to see what my intestines might think.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Rhonda Rhea is a TV personality for Christian Television Network and an award-winning humor columnist for great magazines such as HomeLifeLeading HeartsThe Pathway and many more. She is the author of 17 books, including the Fix-Her-Upper books, co-authored with Beth Duewel, and the hilarious novels, Turtles in the Road and Off-Script & Over-Caffeinated, both co-authored with her daughter, Kaley Rhea. Rhonda lives near St. Louis with her pastor/hubs and has five grown children. You can read more from Rhonda on her website or Facebook page.

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Got baggage? Ever find yourself lugging around messy spiritual baggage like so much purse clutter? Rhonda’s latest release, Messy to Meaningful: My Purse Runneth Over, will help you stop holding on to what you don’t need and start fighting for what you do. Learn to walk out your faith life less weighed down, lighter, and freer that ever!

Join the conversation: How do you keep your thoughts and opinions centered on Christ?

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