Our culture is trained to have a sharp tongue and critique anything and everything that comes up. The biggest webpages in the world are based around 1-5 star reviews, telling us that our opinion is the most important thing in the world and that we’re entitled to it.
While eating one the greatest burgers of my life (see below) with a friend last week, an older man sat behind us and ordered a different variety of burger.
After he had eaten a good portion of his burger the waiter asked him how he was enjoying it. He replied, “This is the worst burger I’ve ever eaten. The patty is too big for the bun. It’s awful.” And if I heard him right, he went on to imply that he may never eat another burger again. The waiter proceeded to take it off of his bill and the man was taken aback for a minute by the kindness, and then returned to his angry state.
My face was on fire, I was so mad. Such blatant critique of a waiter and a cook is dehumanizing and wrong. We need the same rebuke Jesus offered James and John (rightfully nicknamed the “Sons of Thunder”) when they were refused a place to stay in the city they were in. “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them!?!?” (Luke 9:54) I can only imagine Jesus’ reply:
“Uh, guys… let’s just go to the next city, yeah?” But James and John were already on Yelp.
People have different responses to things. I ate one of the best burgers of my life at this restaurant, while he ate 3/4ths of one of the worst. It’s okay to have a different opinion as we’re all different. When faced with criticism on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien responded:
Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or the kinds of writing they evidently prefer.
So sure, have an opinion. But if you can’t offer it with grace and kindness, you may want to expect some criticism/conviction coming your way from Jesus himself, even if your opinion ended up being right in the end.