Opinionated! Every warrior can picture someone in their circle who is the poster child for opinionated people.
It is the state of mind when someone is obstinately attached to only one view and refuses to consider alternate views. For these people, there is no discussion, no debate, and, sadly, no learning….
Some people are opinionated and proud of it. But a closed and narrow mind can sometimes have tragic results. Take, for instance, Lieutenant Hiroo Onada during WWII in the Philippines.
Onada was a fine soldier and leader of men. But above all he prized his own devotion to duty and the meticulous care with which he followed instructions. “Hold out to the last man! Do not surrender! Do not take your own life!” These were the parting words of his commanding general, Akira Muto. And hold out he did.
Onada held out after the last of his soldiers had died or deserted. He held out when spies tried to impersonate Japanese officers, telling him the war was over. Onada held out when a spy pretended to be his brother and urged him to lay down his arms and come home. He held out against forged letters from his relatives who pleaded with him to return to Japan. Onada knew better than to trust these lies. Yet even Onada had limitations. And loneliness got the best of him.
Then he did the unthinkable. Lieutenant Onada, now the only survivor of his platoon, surrendered to his former superior officer, Yoshimi Taniguchi – almost twenty-nine years after the WWII had ended! That’s right. On March 9, 1974, the day he laid down his arms, Hiroo Onada received the shock of his life. All those spies were not spies at all. The man impersonating his brother, was his brother. That “forged” letter was from his family after all. And the war truly was over. Onada had been consummately wrong.
Like this stubborn, hard-headed soldier, many a person holds out against the Lord. The Lord announces His victory over Satan, over sin, over the world. Yet precious years go by as we “hunker down” and disbelieve our Creator’s word that He loves us and only wishes to bless us. Yet God sends out his invitation again and again: “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
Dear Father in heaven, open my blind eyes and deaf ears to your love. Help me to realize you are not the enemy, but the greatest friend. Amen.