Loosening My Grip

As I begin this blog, I would love to open up conversation about an area of my life that is constantly in need of growth.

If you know me, you know that I have opinions, and I tend to hold to them pretty strongly.  When I enter discussions about any of my “hot-button” issues, I am very stubborn and resistant to change.

Certain friends and family members have learned what topics to avoid with me.  If they disagree with me, they know that I’m unlikely to change my mind and hear their point of view.

However, on topics that I’m just beginning to explore and gather information on, I can be open-minded.  If I feel that my opinions are still being formed, I’m likely to listen to just about any reasonable voice in an effort to have the “right” answer.

Having the right answer and being right is something I’ve always valued.  I pursue knowledge in order to be right.  However, it’s been on my mind a lot lately that being right is not what it’s all about.  The Pharisees had strong opinions and used their strong opinions to keep people down.  Jesus condemned them for that.  Their opinions were so strong about the Sabbath for instance, that they couldn’t see the bigger picture of what Jesus was doing when He healed a man on their day of rest.

Once I have decided that I have the “right” answer, I hang onto it so tightly that no one can budge me.  I clench my fists and close myself off to further growth on that topic / issue.

This post is a statement that from here on out, especially as I blog about things that have been on my mind, I would like to loosen my grip.  To allow myself to be more open to truth outside of my rigidly held opinions.

If Peter hadn’t loosened his grip, he wouldn’t have gone to Cornelius with the Gospel to open up the Kingdom to people of every nation and ethnicity.

If Paul hadn’t loosened his grip, he would have dismissed the vision of Christ that was calling him to a better life.

In a way, I believe this goes hand in hand with humility.  Humility is that unattainable buzzword that it seems every Christian struggles to attain.  Thinking of yourself with sober judgment.  Not thinking too highly of yourself.  Putting the needs of others above the needs of self.  Humility will probably be another blog post down the road, but I thought I’d at least mention it here.

My nature is to anticipate reactions of things before I do them.  As I think about this blog post, my most anticipated reaction would be one that talks about when it is appropriate to NOT loosen our grip on our beliefs and opinions.  So, the question I ask to you, the reader, is this:

How do you discern when a belief or opinion needs to be held tightly or loosely?

I have some thoughts on that question, but in an attempt to listen and learn before I speak, I’ll wait for responses and continue the discussion in the Comments section.

May we all loosen our grips when appropriate, and spur one another on towards more growth in Christ.

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3 thoughts on “Loosening My Grip

  1. I don’t usually discern when to hold on tight or when to loosen my grip. Honestly, there are a few things I think I’m right in one day and the next I’m convinced that I’m wrong. When it comes to spiritual things, I’m almost always open to other people’s opinions because my beliefs in things less important aren’t formed yet. (I use the term “less important” loosely, but it’s those things that it doesn’t matter which side you’re on, you’ll still get to Heaven) With some things, I choose not to pick a side at all because I know that there’s no point in arguing (or even debating) over the little things.

    Basically, I go for the “flying by the seat of my pants” approach when it comes to beliefs.

    • I’m at the point where I’m really hoping to narrow down the list of things that I hold firmly. Main Doctrine of Christianity being amongst some of the only things.

      My problem is that with far more minor things, once I’ve made up my mind, I don’t budge. I’ve observed lately that this quickly shuts down conversation and often times, other people are less likely to share their opinions and beliefs with me because I’ve communicated either verbally or non-verbally that I have already decided what I think.

  2. This is going to sound a little over simplistic, but it’s true. I found that my grip naturally loosened as I got older. The more I saw in the world, the more experiences I had, the more people I met the more I realized that the areas of black and white are not nearly as broad as I had always thought (and had learned) they were. I realized through simply living my life that there is are huge grey areas and those grey areas are created by God’s grace. I’ll admit that the more my grip loosened, the freer I felt to love Christ and to learn who He really is.

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