Do I give people the benefit of the doubt? Do I choose to believe something good about someone quicker than I believe something bad when I have the possibility of doing either? Without the full evidence or the clearest picture possible, do I choose to give a favorable judgment? Do I give people the benefit of the doubt?
1 Corinthians 13:7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Why is it that when faced with the choice of thinking that someone really does have the best of intentions, I will automatically think that something bad will happen or that somehow I am going to get the short end of the stick. Well, because past experience has taught me that. Not all of the time but the times that I choose to keep in the forefront of my mind. I remember hearing the saying a long time ago that “You wouldn’t worry so much about what people thought of you if you knew how seldom they often did.” I think that in situations when I am not giving people the benefit of the doubt, I might be over estimating my importance in their decision process.
Do I really think that a friend running late, someone cancelling plans, my wife not emptying the dishwasher, or a host of many other things, is really some plan against me? Come on. Even I can see that is completely irrational. The truth is that all of the things that happen are for reasons other than me. It really isn’t a plot against me.
My wife does not leave an empty toilet paper roll just to annoy me nor does it imply at all that she does not love me in the same way that all of the things that I do that annoy her (and I am sure the list is plenty long). My wife is the most Biblical woman I know and she loves me Biblically. She knows that I am not doing something to intentionally aggravate her and she chooses to overlook all of these things to focus on what I am doing and doing well. She is constantly thanking me for the smallest of things and pointing out how much I am doing to make her life easier. Can you imagine where these little compliments and actions can take our relationship to a higher level? These are things that I need to work on for sure. She needs to hear these things back.
Sometimes as parents, as husbands and wives, as friends, we have a hard time seeing the fruits of our labors and seeing the positives in people. Perhaps our friends and families aren’t loving us in the way we desire or need them to at this time. We tend to not give the benefit of the doubt. We are tired, lazy, and selfish, and we would like the world to revolve around us for awhile.
However, if we are to obey the Lord and love the way that scripture tells us to, then we are to never give up hope and always give the benefit of the doubt.
Romans 8:24-25 For in this hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
The Lord gives us the benefit of the doubt when He can see our heart and what are true intentions really are. He sees our sinful nature and still chooses to extend us grace and forgive us on a regular basis. Don’t you think it’s time we gave each other a break and cut some slack to the ones who love us? Can you imagine if we all started extending the benefit of the doubt that we would like I extended towards us? I know I am certainly going to try.
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