Approvals and Opinions

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Written by LynnA

Selling books is like solving a puzzle. I love puzzles. There is something so satisfying in taking what looks like ill-fitted pieces that make little or no sense separately, and putting them together to create something amazing. It is problem solving at it's core. I take that same approach in helping authors sell more books. Give me your broken pieces and let me help you sell more copies of your masterpiece.

June 26, 2017

Pick me, pick me!

One of my favorite YouTubers uploaded a vlog last week that I found less than appealing. And I wasn’t the only one. In fact, he had tens of thousands of dislikes. Pretty unusual for such a popular channel. I started to comment, something I’ve never done before, and wrote and erased a few responses. I decided no one would be interested in my opinion. Mostly because I wanted it to be constructive and not critical, so I wanted to be clear about my reasoning.

Over the weekend, I sat down with my daughter and showed her the video. She was as disappointed in it as I was. But it was her response that finally spurred me to comment.  Well, three days later my comment is the leading comment under this very popular video. I’ve received more than 400 likes for it as of this writing. Let’s be honest, it’s pretty exciting to receive that kind of approval, right? But why?! They’re strangers! They don’t even know me. I mean, you can tell from the less-than nice comments under my comment that they don’t know me. Why then do we feel the need to share our opinions and seek approval from people we don’t even know?!

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” mom.

As the middle of five kids, I cannot tell you how many times I heard my mom repeat that sage advice to one of us. We know it’s a nice way to ask someone to keep their opinions to themselves. Of course, as a follower of Christ I know God is also pretty serious about being nice to others. In fact, Jesus commanded it:

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.   A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22: 37 – 40

but They’re asking for it!

Social media allows us an opinion where we never had one before.  I don’t know about you, but I often think it’s not only not necessary sometimes, it’s just not appropriate.  It can be tough to keep your mouth shut when you see that old high school friend acting like they did back in high school or one of your family members telling tall tales. But what about  someone who makes a living out here in front of us, like a blogger (be nice to me!) or a YouTuber?  They’re asking for it, right?  No. I don’t think so. In fact, I know so. God (and Mom’s) great commandment still stand: Be nice. Act in love. You know what they say about opinions – everyone’s got one.  And yours doesn’t always need to be heard.

I want you to want me.

It’s not just a Cheap Trick lyric. We all want to be wanted. But it’s not healthy to be wanted, to seek approval the way we sometimes do on social media. In fact, God tells us that we don’t even need it.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33

Do you see what I see? Not only do we not need the approval of others, God tells us very clearly that He will give us everything we need if we seek Him above all of that. Above everything. I don’t think this means that we don’t have the right to provide an opinion when asked or when necessary. For instance, voting. It is our right as Americans to cast our votes. It’s not in violation or contrary to God’s laws and therefore, render unto Caesar (Matthew 22:20-22)!

 

For me, one opinion matters. And it never changes.

For the mountains may move
    and the hills disappear,
but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
    My covenant of blessing will never be broken,”
    says the Lord, who has mercy on you.  Isaiah 54:10

 

Have you ever struggled with the need to be heard or approved? What has helped you?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

Blessed to be a blessing,

3 Comments

  1. Clay

    Lynn,
    I can be very vocal in my opinions (remember FHL?). They sometimes still get me in trouble. But for the most part, through spiritual maturity and a better understanding of others in general, I now value others’ opinions over my own. And it makes me less likely to spout off a careless word.

    When writing, I find it helpful to sit on it for a while, as you did here. But remember that the great part of social media is also it’s biggest problem. There’s an old saying that “opinions are like ********, everyone has one.”

    Keep up the good work! And don’t let the unpublished get you down!

    Reply
  2. LynnA

    Clay!
    I’m so happy your read my blog! Thank you.
    As I get older I realize that sharing a point of view too often, the way we now can on social media, just seems to water down the impact. So when I do take the time to share my view, like I did for that video, I want it to count! Because you’re right about those opinions… we all have one!!

    Thank you again, my friend!

    Reply
  3. Cathy

    Well, sometimes the opinions we express are not on momentous issues; but sometimes they are. One reason for commenting might be approval, but another might be to seek truth and to speak truth.

    I know one scripture that comes to my mind often is the one in Isaiah that says” “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” It seems like today, so many things are presented very different that what they are. And I’m not just talking about clearly moral issues. I’m talking about things presented in a way that advocate for a particular way of doing something; but if followed to it’s conclusion, it would end badly. Or things we read in the media that are so twisted that they really don’t represent things as they are.

    Of course, recently, often we ourselves have to seek to find what is true. Sometimes, two opposite stories/viewpoints may be presented, and neither is 100% correct.

    Reply

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