Choosing To Believe The Best About People

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It is written:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (Amplified)-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].

Each of us has a choice about how we view those around us. We can view them with optimism, or with pessimism. It really is that simple. The love that Jesus teaches His disciples to learn and emulate is the kind which tries to believe the best about every person. That is hard to do sometimes, because people fail and let us down. Nevertheless, this is how Jesus wants us to live.

William Barclay gives a powerful example of this type of love:

“(2) In relation to our fellow men and women, it means that love always believes the best about other people. It is often true that we make people what we believe them to be. If we show that we do not trust people, we may make them untrustworthy. If we show people that we trust them absolutely, we may make them trustworthy. When Thomas Arnold became headmaster of Rugby School in 1828, he instituted a completely new way of doing things. Before he arrived, school had been a terror and a tyranny. Arnold called the boys together and told them that there was going to be much more liberty and much less flogging. ‘You are free,’ he said, ‘but you are responsible–you are gentlemen. I intend to leave you much to yourselves, and put you upon your honour, because i believe that if you are guarded and watched and spied upon, you will grow up knowing only the fruits of servile fear; and when your liberty is finally given you, as it must be some day, you will not know how to use it.’ The boys found it difficult to believe. When they were brought before him, they continued to make the old excuses and to tell the old lies. ‘Boys,’ he said, ‘if you say so, it must be true–i believe your word.’ The result was that there came a time in Rugby when boys said: ‘It is a shame to tell Arnold a lie–he always believes you.’ He believed in them, and he made them what he believed them to be. Love can make honourable even the dishonourable by believing the best.” (William Barclay, Insights Love: What the Bible Tells Us About Christian Love, 559-575 (Kindle Edition); Edinburgh, England: Saint Andrew Press)

May the Lord help us to believe the best about others.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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