What a beautiful description of the nature and effects of how Christ wants to love through us! Contrast Divine love with the following cynical statements:
“He’s just in it for the money.”
“You’re doing that because you need to be in control.”
“You’re saying that because you’re insecure.”
When listening to people, I often hear these types of judgments. Sometimes, 'the protector' in me even makes them; when I believe the worst, I won't be caught off guard if someone lets me down. It seems like part of human nature is to interpret why people do the things that they do. In our effort to 'make sense of'' behavior that impacts us, we can draw erroneous conclusions that lead us into a ‘one up’ position of false superiority.
The problem is, sometimes I don’t know why I do what I do, let alone know why you do what you do! To state the obvious, reading into another person’s intention is seldom relationship enhancing. There is a concept called ‘negativity bias’; people tend to assume the worst, especially if they have been hurt in the past by someone’s behavior.
Personally, I don’t remember ever getting a positive response by ‘informing’ someone of their motive. My grandiose conclusion in that moment is likely to provoke a defensive reaction rather than appreciation. Plus, if I have already decided that their motive is ill-intentioned, I am no longer seeking to gain understanding.
Judging is a form of blindness. In order to see again, I am required to give up my presumption that I know why others are acting a certain way. With God’s help, I can then humbly view them with ‘fresh eyes’.
Truly, there is a way to develop the attitude that "believes the best": combining compassion with the curiosity of an open, soft heart. When the scales of judgment fall off my eyes, I have a new perspective. I begin to see others as they really are when I let go of the prejudice that supported my judgmental bias.
Please pray with me for God’s help:
Heavenly Father, help me to fulfill the law of Christ, which is the law of love. Forgive me for the times that I have been cynical and unkind when judging others’ motives. Give me the grace to replace my unloving attitude with Your Love that believes the best of others. Please help me see others through your eyes. It is in the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Until next time, Blessings ~ Deb