Topic: Believe the Best [October 22, 2016]
Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. - 1 Corinthians 13:5
If we want to love people, we must let God transform the way we think about people and the things they do. We can believe the worst and be suspicious of everything others do and say, or we can believe the best. Real love always believes the best.
What we think and believe is a choice. The root of much of our trouble in life is that we don't control or discipline our thoughts. If we don't discipline our thoughts, we will probably end up being suspicious and believing bad things that don't glorify God.
The prophet Jeremiah asked the people this: How long will you allow your . . . grossly offensive thoughts to lodge within you? (Jeremiah 4:14). The thoughts the people chose to think were offensive to God. When we choose to believe the best, we are able to let go of everything that could be harmful to good relationships.
When people do something that hurts you, you can believe they didn't realize what they were doing. If you do, you will save a lot of energy that you might otherwise waste on anger. When your feelings get hurt you will feel angry, but you can say to yourself, "Even though what they said or did hurt me, I choose to believe their heart was right." Keep talking to yourself until your feelings of anger start to dissipate. Say things like, "I don't believe they really understood how their actions affected me. I don't believe they would try to hurt me on purpose. Maybe they are just having a bad day today."
I know from experience that keeping mental records of offenses poisons our own lives and does not really change the other person. Many times we waste a day being angry at someone who doesn't even realize they did anything that bothered us. If we are going to keep records, then why not keep records of the good things people do rather than the mistakes they make?
Trust in Him: Choose to believe the best in all people and trust God to deal with any offense. Doing so will help you enjoy everyday life.