Everybody got something to say about everything. Yet half of the time, it’s much ado about nothing. It’s for us to pass the opinions of others through the sieve of our minds, and sift out the junk that doesn’t make sense. The opinions of others can either help us up or break us down. This depends a lot on how we process the information.
Whether the blame is on low self-esteem or just being plain gullible or naive, some people take what others say as doctrine. They’ll believe anything—regardless of if the information is positive or negative, credible or not. If someone says to the easily-converted, “Move out of your apartment, the rent is too high,” they’ll move. Or if someone advises them, “Leave that man/woman, he/she is no good for you,” they’ll do it on a whim.
It gets just as bad when the opinions of others are aimed at the individual. Personal blows such as, you’re too fat, ugly, short, black, and so on, has the potential to utterly destroy the feeble-minded. They fail to comprehend the fact that those statements are just opinions. Instead, they’ll take it very personal, and the impact can be devastating.
On the other end of the spectrum, are those who’ll go through the opinions of others with a fine-tooth-comb. These individuals will consider what others say, but will ask questions, get a second opinion, and do a little research before accepting or refuting the information. In other words, they’ll do an analysis of the data before considering it useful. The critical-thinker will accept constructive criticism and good advice, yet will be careful enough not to let them harm their decision making process.
So, does the opinions of others matter?
The answer for this question weighs heavily on answering two other questions. Is the source credible? And, what’s their intention/motive? A lot of times people will offer their opinion without having all the facts or they may have little to no experience. Additionally, if the source is a family member or friend, their emotions might get in the way. Lastly, not everyone has our best interest at heart or will want to see us prosper/succeed. Hence, the birth of bad advice and opinions.
There are those who will intentionally give false information or say negative things about us to break us down or see us fail. We can definitely learn from what others have to say, but we have to be smart and we have to think critically. Nevertheless, it’s always best to seek God’s guidance through prayer and scripture reading, over the opinions of others.
“The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.” (Proverbs 14:15)
What is the best or worst advice you’ve ever received?