It is so easy to jump to conclusions about another person’s intentions. I don’t know about you, but the conclusions that first jump to my mind about someone’s actions, shortcomings, or attitudes are not often ‘the best.’ They probably don’t even make it to the ‘sort-of-nice’ category. Then there are these verses in my Bible:
Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. 1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP
Love… is ever ready to believe the best of every person.
I battled with believing the best one day at the gym. I was thinking through a situation that
was bothering me. I thought about how upset I was at [my perception of] the situation, and the people. I jumped to the worst possible conclusion, assuming that these people were going to betray my trust and love. Convincing myself that they were selfish, and didn’t care at all about me.
Then, thank God, the Holy Spirit stepped in. Isn’t it awesome that we have a personal coach to help us through this junk?!
He brought up scriptures that I had been studying lately. Yet they didn’t really click until this moment. “Annie, Love believes the best and hopes the best in every circumstance and situation. Believe the best of these people.”
In some cases, when the Holy Spirit speaks to me the freedom is instant. It was not the case this day, though. My thoughts need a boot camp. My ‘jump-to-conclusions’ need to be ‘re-wired’ so they will first believe the best, not the worst. For this to happen I am going to have to be actively involved. Thoughts don’t just happen. It is important to think about what you think about. Only when we are aware of our thought patterns can we re-route wrong and negative thinking.
Like any other habit, this will take practice, time, and more practice. My music instructors taught me that when practicing a hard section of music, it had to be done perfectly seven times in a row until you really had it down. Seven times! In a row! I have heard similar things about forming new habits.
We get it right one, two, three, oops.
One, two, three, four, five, oops.
Don’t be discouraged, or frustrated when you can’t get it right seven times in a row right away. Keep practicing. And keep your eyes on Jesus, who gives you grace and power to keep enduring. Where thoughts are concerned we may never get it right all of the time. We are and will be until Jesus returns, a work in progress. So keep practicing!
When the Holy Spirit pointed out my poisonous thoughts that day, I first asked for forgiveness. I repented. I made the choice to change my mind about the situation. I made a choice to believe the best and to see these people as God sees them. He sees the best in people. He thinks they are valuable, worth loving, and worth risking everything for. God believes people want to do good, are able to choose well, able to love, and are capable of wonderful and beautiful things. It might be hard at first, but Jesus will help you to see the best in all people. Those who have hurt you, those who have betrayed you, those who have not given you much reason to believe the best. Believe anyway. Change the atmosphere. Believe in them. It might just help them believe the best of themselves, and begin to walk in the Love God desires to show them.
I really hope this helps and encourages you today. Let’s change our words and change our world!