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A Second Opinion

As I head into a 2009 filled with so many new opportunities, I’ve been dwelling on something that I think I need to have more of going forward. I’ve very clearly felt compelled to have more opinions. I know, I know, those that are acquainted with me have just shuttered in horror at any chance of me having more opinions. But I’m speaking to opinions that matter. Opinions that could possibly dictate my actions. Wikipedia defines an opinion as:

a person’s ideas and thoughts towards something which it is either impossible to verify the truth of, or the truth of which is thought unimportant to the person. It is an assertion about something especially if that something lies in the future and its truth or falsity cannot be directly established. An opinion is not a fact, because opinions are either not falsifiable, or the opinion has not been proven or verified. If it later becomes proven or verified, it is no longer an opinion, but a fact.

I love this definition. It’s something that is impossible to verify the truth of. I can have an opinion that the Dallas Cowboys have a truly terrific football team, but that is neither a fact nor is it possible to prove.

But what about the opinions that matter? I’ve been challenged to think about my opinions on the important things related to my family, relationships, and ministry. And am I ready to move these opinions in the direction of facts? Here are the opinions that I’m challenging myself to get in writing, and committing time to really think through how I can move them into the realm of facts.

  • What is my opinion on the best ways to communicate love to a kid? Is it through my words, actions, or both? And what is the best way for each individual kid?
  • What is my opinion on leading a child to Christ? Is there a way that is better than the other ways? Is there a way to lead a child to Christ, where their decision is truly life changing? Is it effective in a large-group environment?
  • What is my opinion on dedicating a child in a church setting?
  • What is my opinion on what makes a strong marriage? Is my opinion on this impossible to prove?
  • What is my opinion on the best way to mentor and raise up new leaders? Is there a more effective way to do it than I’m currently doing it?

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.