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Opinions and the Pit
By Joel Osteen - Nov 02, 2012
There's a story about a man who fell into a pit. Different people came along to voice their opinions. The Pharisee said, "You deserve to be in the pit." The Catholic said, "You need to suffer while you're in the pit." The Baptist said, "If you'd get saved, you wouldn't have fallen into the pit." The Charismatic said, "Just confess, 'I'm not in the pit.'" The mathematician said, "Let me calculate how you fell into the pit." The IRS agent said, "Have you paid taxes on that pit?" The optimist said, "Things could be worse." The pessimist said, "Things will get worse."

Everyone has an opinion. If you try to please every person, the one person that will not be happy is you. And it's funny; sometimes the people who are trying to run your life can't even run their own. It's good to get advice. It's good to listen to opinions, but you've got to be confident enough in who God made you to be that when something doesn't bear witness with your spirit, you have a boldness to say, "Thanks, but no thanks. I love you. I appreciate your advice, but this time, it's not for me."

I have a friend who's on staff here with us. Several years ago, a man came up to him and said, "I feel very strongly that you're supposed to go out and start your own church. You're a great minister. You're anointed. I know it would be a success."

And while my friend appreciated his encouragement, that didn't bear witness with him at all. He knows he is called to be here. This is exactly where God wants him to be. Month after month, this man kept coming up to him saying, "When are you going to start your church? When are you going to take that step of faith?" It went from being encouraging to pressuring him, trying to squeeze him into a mold.

My friend finally said to him, "Let me ask you, will you rent me an auditorium? Will you buy me a sound system? Will you pay my staff? Will you pay the utilities? Will you pay all the advertising costs?"

That man looked at him like he had lost his mind. He said, "No, I can't do that. I can't afford it."

My friend said, "Well, if God calls me, He will take care of me. He will pay my bills. He will bring the right people. He will line up the auditorium. But if I do it because you called me, I'm going to have to rely on you, and I can tell I'd be very disappointed."

Proverbs 29 tells us that "the fear of man brings a snare." In other words, when you rely on the opinions of others, instead of leading you out of the pit, it will lead you into the pit! Today, learn to separate yourself from the opinions of others and consecrate yourself to God. After all, His opinion is the only one that matters, and He will lead you into life, freedom and victory all the days
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