"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (NIV) Joshua 24:15
In life, one of the most challenging moments is to stand by your conviction when the world around you is of the opposite opinion. For example, when you are born into a family that does not believe in God and you happen to be the first to see the Light (Jesus). When you are chastised, stigmatised or punished for an unjust cause just because all your explanations are falling on deaf ears. These are very challenging moments that appeal to our mind to reconsider and give in. “Perhaps it’s time to be a little flexible or they might be right and I am wrong”, we ponder. In such situations, the most important question to ponder on is whose opinion are we worried about?
The bible gives us instances of such situations in the life of men of God such as Noah, Joseph, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego etc. Let us imagine what would have happened if Noah had followed the crowd and refused to build the ark (Genesis 6-7)? Have you thought about Joseph? He was sold by his own brothers to Potiphar, an assistant of the Pharaoh of Egypt (Genesis 37:12-24). Just when things were returning to normal for him, the wife of Potiphar presented him a proposal which many men would not refuse (Genesis 39:6-10). When Joseph refused to sleep with her, she lied about Joseph to her husband which resulted in Joseph being thrown into jail (Genesis 39:11-20). What a pity? Who was ready to listen to Joseph’s part of the story? Let us not forget the three men (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) who refused to bow to the golden image of King Nebuchadnezzar when the nations bowed to this image (Daniel 3). What was wrong with them? Why did they accept to be thrown into the burning furnace when they could have saved their skins by a “simple” bow? Well, they were worried about God’s opinion of them.
These men of God accepted to go through all these ordeals because they knew God’s opinion of them is of greater value than the opinions of men. Men always look at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). And the voice of the people is not always the voice of God. So whose opinion are you worried about in the situation you find yourself in?