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Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

My opinion doesn't matter in regards to whether or not something is true. Neither does yours.

Whether I think COVID is a real threat or not has no bearing on the truth that over 17,000 Canadians (over 376,000 Americans, and 1.95 million people worldwide) have died as a result of complications related to it. My opinion about COVID doesn't change it.

My opinion about election results or about a mob of people who violently attempted to overthrow those results doesn't change the fact that those results have been verified over and over again and five people were killed last Wednesday at the US Capitol.

My opinion about whether or not the way of Jesus is one of violence or peace doesn't change what is true about the heart of God.

My opinion about Jesus being the way, the truth, and the life doesn't change who he is.

But my opinion about these things does change how I respond to them. My opinion changes whether or not my response highlights what is true or degrades the truth by perpetuating untruths. (Alternative facts aren't facts at all. They are untruths at best. Intentional lies at worst.) My opinion guides whether or not I will live in ways that point people to the Jesus of the gospels or if I will point people to a "Jesus" of my own making.

This is why it is essential that those of us who claim to align with the one who is the truth work hard to ensure that our opinions are shaped by that which is true - true about Jesus biblically; true about world events through verifiable measures; true about health realities supported by the best science available. Because if our opinions are based on something other than what is true it hurts us. It hurts our communities. And it hurts the witness of Jesus because the world around us will recognize it. They will call us on it. They will reject him because of it.

None of us will do align with truth perfectly. We are imperfect people with imperfect knowledge and discernment. Doing this will require us to listen to people who are skilled and wise - whose background makes them reliable sources of what is true in any given area. (This is why I linked above to a reliable source for COVID numbers!) I've been impressed by several people online who, just this week, have repented of ways in which they now realize they were wrong. Sadly, it seems more of us are more committed to defending our opinion than being shaped by and representing what is verifiably true. We can always find someone out there who agrees with us or will defend our perspective. That isn't what any of us need.

We need more humility and less saving face. We need more grace and less defensiveness. We need more love and less antagonism. We need more truth and less opinion.

Please, for the love of Jesus, choose truth.

At least, that's my opinion. ;-)