“Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” – Luke 6:31
There are some difficult people out there. But the reality is nobody is as bad or good as we think they are. Our dearest friend has flaws and our worst enemy has redeeming qualities. That is why our approach to everyone should be the same. We should only look for the good and ignore the bad. In other words, we should be positive and patient with everyone and find the courage to think the best of others.
Think the best of others because this is what you expect them to think of you. Give them the same benefit of the doubt you desire. Believe that they have your best interests in mind. The temptation to be skeptical or even suspicious of their motives is not what God expects of us. We cannot judge a person’s heart.
Our role is to think the best of the people God put into our lives. That is especially true of the people closest to us. Husbands should think the very best of their wives and want the very best for their lives. Wives think the best of their husbands and want the very best for their lives. Then there are the kids. It is especially tempting to think harshly of teenagers who are trying to figure things out on their own, and not be told what to do. Thinking good of others is not easy. It is hard to set your default to thinking the best of others, but that is what we should do because that is what God does.
When God looks at us, He sees Christ. He doesn’t look at us as sinners with bad habits and hang-ups. The Lord looks at us and the potential we have. He reaches out to His children and offers opportunities. He thinks the best of us because we are His. He does not disown us for our dumb mistakes. He forgives us and thinks the best of us and asks us to do the same.
Trusting others’ intentions does not mean we are irresponsible. We still need to have our eyes open. And ask questions when they need to be asked. And we still may need to hold people accountable on occasion. But in all that the foundation should be trust and choosing to think the best of people and circumstances. It is much more than just being positive. It is a reflection of God in you.
Think the best of yourself, your spouse, your friends, and your work associates.
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” (Philippians 2:3-4).
- What does thinking the best of someone mean in real life?
- Philippians 2:3 encourages, “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves..” Is there someone in your life you need to actively consider more important than yourself? How can you seek to humbly show preference to that person over your own desires or wants?