Believe the Best
Have you ever heard the terms “believe the best” or “assume positive intent?” If you haven’t, I’ll break it down for you. Basically, these phrases mean that whatever a person says or does, you choose to believe they did not mean anything malicious, rude, ugly, or bad about their words or actions. They may simply be having an off day or walking through a season, but it isn’t about you, so you extend grace.
This is a very hard concept to accept and posture to adopt. When a person says something that is hurtful, we as humans, automatically jump to the defense or put on a face of anger, hostility, or judgment. Friends, this is not a healthy way to live.
I have been there. I have lived rooted in a place of distrust and angst. Because of having my heart broken by friends, boyfriends, family members, bosses, and even strangers, I was a cynic when it came to interactions with anyone around me. I took people’s words and actions and made assumptions that painted them in an ugly light. I scoffed when a person bumped into me at the store and didn’t say anything. I growled when a person cut me off on the highway. Believe me, there are days when I still do those things, but then I stop and ask the age-old question, “What would Jesus do?” Some people like to say that Jesus got angry, too. Yes, but the foundation of His character is not anger, it’s love. By choosing to believe the best or assume positive intent, I am choosing to live with a posture of love and hope.
This world is a mess. This world needs help. But if I choose to grumble or judge or blame, I will never be the change I want to see in our world.
Next time someone bumps into you, or cuts you off, or is rude, choose to believe the best about that person. Shrug it off. More than likely it’s not personal. Maybe they’re having a bad day and need a smile. Maybe they’re in a rush because they just got a horrible phone call. Maybe they are in the middle of a crisis and just need some grace. You never know how you can be the light and love of Jesus to someone. Choose grace. Choose love. Assume positive intent. Believe the best. Be the change you want to see. You’ll never regret being kind.
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