Thinking the Best of Others
What would you think if you walked by a bar and saw a Christian brother or sister inside?
Many of us would instantly cast judgement upon our brother or sister or maybe just wonder in the back of our mind if they are struggling with a secret issue. We may even go so far as to let others know about who we saw so they can 'pray' for them.
In our world today it's really easy to get caught up in thinking the worst of others when we don't know the whole story. Why don't we instantly view circumstance in the best light until we know differently? Maybe it's because we secretly long to see someone else stumble because it makes our own heart swell with pride as it tells us "You're better than them." Maybe it's because we know our own sinful disposition and wrongly put that on everyone else. We also hate when someone does that to us.
John 7:24 tells us to "not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." Though certainly not exhaustive, I'd like to challenge us on making uninformed judgements on two types of people.
Someone we dislike or disagree with
How hard is this one? When someone defames a person we like or someone who shares our views we generally rush to defend the accused. When a disparaging remark is spoken about a person we disagree with or dislike we generally want to agree with the disparagement even though we don't know the facts. Why? I think it's simply our wicked hearts showing that we are okay with injustice if we don't like someone. Justice is a big deal to God because he is just.
Our fellow Christian
How many problems in the Church would be avoided if we always assumed the best about our church family? If you're concerned talk to them in private and ask. If you don't know them personally but have heard gossip about them assume the best until you definitively know. They are a fellow heir of grace through Jesus and you will be spending eternity with them in Heaven. Imagine Jesus' reaction to someone slandering his bride.
May we accurately represent our King with our thoughts about others.
Soli Deo Gloria,