Not going to lie, it was hard to sit down and write this one. Not because I don’t believe that this is important, but because looking for the good in someone can be a hard thing to do sometimes.
“To look for the good in everyone” ZTA Creed
As a kid, when I was told to look for the good in people, I thought it meant not to call them mean names. But as I grew up, and as my relationships grew up with me, I realized that thinking the best of someone isn’t just to contradict bullying, or keeping someone’s feelings from getting hurt (though valid reasons). When we think badly of someone it isn’t always an intentional, mean thought. We don’t go around criticizing everyone we see, but we do analyze their words and actions towards us.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”Ephesians 4:31 – 32 ESV
I don’t think we usually set out to think poorly of someone. Actually, I don’t think we even realize that we are doing it. It’s almost as if we start on the defensive- guarding ourselves against this person who has yet to do anything wrong. Most of the time we don’t even realize that we’re doing it.
Usually, this stems from feelings of rejection and hurt. At some point in our lives we learned that not everyone will like us or be kind to us. And from these lessons, we changed how we react to other people. We started to operate out of a place of hurt and rejection rather than love and acceptance.
One of my favorite authors, Lysa TerKeurst, wrote:
“To love God is to cooperate with His grace. And since I’m so very aware of my own need for grace, I must be willing to freely give it away. Each hole left from rejection must become an opportunity to create more and more space for grace in my heart.” Lysa TerKeurst, ‘Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely’
So how do we change our perspectives and begin to live with grace in our hearts?
By being intentional with not only our actions towards one another (let’s not forget the golden rule now) but also our thoughts.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”Philippians 4:8-9 ESV
“And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear.”Isaiah 11:3 ESV
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Let’s look for the good in everyone. Let’s stop the cycle of judgment and fear. And most of all, let’s see others how God sees us; with grace, love, and kindness.