Here’s where I run into trouble. I fall down. I blow it.
The charitable assumption- thinking the best of someone when motives are unknown.
If I got it right, I wouldn’t blog about it every other week.
Even our American justice system operates on "innocent unless proven guilty". But not me.
My thoughts are sometimes a horror to me. When I disagree with someone, I think a sarcastic “Right” or a condescending “You’re certainly not perfect. Look at the way you deal with…” Or worse, “I, the perfect one, would never do that.”
The good news is that I have learned to keep my critical thoughts to myself mostly, unless you ask my husband who actually hears far too many. It is one of my deepest sorrows that one the I love most gets my worst.
During my morning reading I came across these profound words:
“But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged.”
The sentences were sweet balm to my guilty soul, because they gave me fresh strength, fresh like biting into an crimson apple plucked straight from an orchard in September, to fight my uncharitable thoughts. I don’t want quarrels; I am much more interested in kindness. I want more than most anything to be an excellent teacher, and absolutely nothing is wrong with patience.
Most everyday I get a visual demonstration of quarrels due to untrained hearts in my children- “He ALWAYS…” “He NEVER…” “She’s such a bother!”
My children are full of foolish speculation shared out loud for all to hear. Maybe your children do not quarrel, but mine have their fair share of arguments. I do not know a human on earth who naturally gives the benefit of the doubt, so I believe it is a learned skill wrapped up in forgiveness and the hard work of setting things right. Am I wrong about this?
With inspiration from these words, I just may give pause to my negative thoughts. I’m more aware of consequences. If given a foothold, harshness would only lead to a hard heart. A hard heart would drive me to internal quarrel discounting the words of the person I disdained. In turn, I’d become the very person I scorn.
My prayer again for today is for sensitivity to the humanity within my fellow man and woman- that I may make the charitable assumption.
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