Practice Believing The Best Of Others - Today Can Be Different

“Peter wants a divorce,” my friend Stacey said, taking quick breaths.

It pained me to see her struggling to keep from falling completely apart. “I’m so sorry.”

When our eyes met, her mascara was long gone. “It hurts, Sheryl. And what makes it worse is knowing some people will believe Peter when he says I’m the one at fault. I can’t handle this.”

Her words pierced my heart as I imagined the added anguish she’d suffer from those who didn’t know the whole truth.

How often do we find ourselves the object of false judgment? On the flip side, how often are we the ones telling lies about someone?

These questions remind me of the second part of 1 Corinthians 13:7 (ESV):

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition, expands “believes all things” this way:

[Love] is ever ready to believe the best of every person.

How can we practice believing in and seeing the best of someone, especially when the conversation turns against them?

  • First, we can decide beforehand not to start or listen to rumors.
  • Second, when a conversation heads in the wrong direction, we can redirect it by saying something like, “Oh, I hope that’s not true. But just in case, I’ll put (name of person) on my prayer list.” This is better than remaining silent because sometimes our silence implies our agreement.

What about believing the best of those we see every day?

  • If our husband makes a costly investment mistake, do we lose faith in him, or do we continue to believe in his ability to succeed?
  • If a friend constantly shows up late, do we focus on that one (albeit irritating) flaw, or will we ask God to help us recall (and believe in) their good qualities?

Refusing to listen to rumors or form negative opinions about others takes effort. But when we choose to believe the best of someone – and help others do the same while faithfully praying for them – we can prevent that person from falling into a depth of despair that could lead to devastating consequences.

Knowing somebody still believes in them (and that they’re worth defending) could give a person the hope and dignity they need to persevere

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Your comment might also benefit others.)

Have you ever been misjudged or misunderstood?

  • How have others’ false opinions of you affected you?
  • How have your false opinions of others affected them?

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