Chappy’s corner “In whose opinion?”

As the pastor greeted people as they were leaving the church, one four year old boy reached up and handed the pastor a quarter.  The pastor asked, “Why are you giving me this?”  The boy said, “In church you told us to remember the poor.” The pastor nodded and said, “Okay, that’s very nice I will give this to the poor.” The boy interrupted and said, “No that’s for you to have because my dad says, “You’re the poorest preacher we have ever had.”


There are days when anyone of us would deserve that quarter because we were not doing our best. We all have those days when we failed to do our best.  That’s why it is good to have annual reviews or in the military we call them Officer Evaluation reviews (OERs) or Noncommissioned Officer Evaluation reviews (NCOERs).  These reviews are often a headache to fill out but their purpose is to help the individual be better at what they do and ultimately make the military stronger and better too.  That should be the purpose of any review whether in the military or in one’s civilian employment. 

Reviews serve a purpose that’s why it is good to have annual reviews at work but also in our personal lives.  Too often in our relationships we neglect to take a good honest look at the job we are doing as a spouse, as a parent, or as a friend. What kind of father or mother are we to our children. Are we so busy doing our job that we fail to take time for those close to us?

A woman looked out and saw her husband playing with the children in the front lawn. They were having a great time, but the lawn was becoming a mess. The wife shouted out, “You’re ruining the lawn!” The husband replied, “We’re raising a family, not a lawn.”  In her opinion they were wasting time and making a mess in the Dad’s opinion time spent with kids was time well spent.  One might argue both opinions have their merit, but what would be the children’s opinion?  When they look back would they want a nice lawn or time with their dad? Whose opinion matters most when it comes to raising one’s family?”


In my opinion, God’s opinion is the opinion that truly matters in life.  What does God think about raising one’s family?  What does God think about marriage?  What is God’s view on this issue or that issue?  Of course many folks have different opinions about who God is and what God thinks, for me and many others we turn to the Bible to hear what God says.  Sadly even the Bible is often used by many to argue their personal opinion.  Before the civil war many folks including many preachers used the Bible to justify enslaving people.  Personally I think they were wrong on that interpretation but that’s my opinion. 


The truth is the Bible contains many thoughts, but the central teaching of the Bible is this:  God sent Jesus so people could have life. Now, that’s not just my opinion, but what the Bible itself says in John 20:30-31  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”  In my opinion the purpose of Jesus coming was to save sinners like me and the rest of the world.  I believe Jesus did save us by giving His life as a sacrifice on the cross to pay for our sins. I also believe He gives everlasting life by rising from the dead.  Now I know some might not agree with my opinion and they have that right.  But when it comes to how we are saved, I lean on what God’s word says and not on the wishes or thoughts of others. In the end what matters is what does God think?  After all, he is the final judge!    In fact, if I preached according to popular opinion and not what God’s word teaches, then I would be a “poor preacher” at least a poor preacher in my opinion. 


That’s just my thoughts from this very hot and humid SE corner of South Dakota!


CH (COL) David Gunderson

State Chaplain for SDARNG