I’m not sure if guys do this, but some girls, myself included, do.
“Does this make me look fat?”
Recently I asked a friend that question as we were standing in the middle of a wedding reception.
“Really?” she responded. “You are asking me that now?”
She continued, “Well, no. But you do know there is no good way for me to answer that question, right? And what are you going to do right now if the answer is yes? Strip down in the middle of this reception? What in the world are you thinking??!”
I shared with her that there was absolutely a great way for her to answer that question. I needed her to answer the question honestly. I have some other weddings that I’ll be attending or officiating and if the dress didn’t look ok, I wanted to know so that I could find a new one. Not strip down for a wedding. Truthfully I’d love to not care what anyone’s opinion is of my apparel. But . . . my vanity does not allow for that. I do care. Opinion polls matter.
Sometimes making decisions based on opinion polls isn’t a bad thing. Friends and trusted people in our lives can help us to see things that perhaps we can’t see. BUT – there are other times that popular opinion can sway us the wrong way.
Such is the case in the story of Jesus’ crucifixion.
Pilate was standing before the people and basically took an opinion poll. Despite the fact that his wife warned him against crucifying Jesus, Pilate asked the people what they wanted.
Jesus threatened their norms. He made the religious leaders uncomfortable. He challenged their spiritual suppositions and pushed them to see God and spirituality in a new way.
Ultimately, whether or not I look “fat” in a dress is a pretty insignificant thing to be asking in the big scheme of things. It also is a decent “opinion poll” kind of question. But there are times in our lives that we leave big decisions about our lives up to popular opinion, and that isn’t ok. What decisions do we need to claim for ourselves instead of putting them out for the world to weigh in on?
20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus killed. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”[j] All of them said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 Then he asked, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!”