Here’s a question, can you read someone’s mind? Can any Christian read another person’s mind? Of course not! But that doesn’t stop us from acting like we can sometimes, does it?
Have you ever said anything like, “So-and-so thinks he’s better than everyone else”? Or, “So-and-so thinks he can just sit back, relax, and do nothing; while the rest of do all the work.” How about, “I know so-and-so thinks I’m no good.” You see, we all do it. We all try to play “mind reader.”
And isn’t it interesting that we often assume people are thinking the worst possible thing? When someone doesn’t say hello to us, we assume they think they’re better than us, rather than they were just preoccupied. Isn’t it time Christians stop doing this?
When someone does something – and we wonder about their motives, intentions, or thoughts – here are two of our options:
1. We can assume they were being malicious, selfish, apathetic, etc.
2. Or, we can simply say, “I don’t know what they were thinking, only God knows their heart (1 Samuel 16:7), but I choose to believe their intentions were probably good.”
That’s called, “Giving the benefit of the doubt.” And isn’t that what love does? 1 Corinthians 13:7 says love believes and hopes all things. When someone says, “I’m sorry I was late,” love chooses to believe they are genuinely sorry, instead of questioning and doubting their motives. When someone is rude, hopeful love says, “I’m sure they didn’t mean to come across rude.”
Isn’t that the way you want to be treated? Don’t you want people to give you the benefit of the doubt? Don’t you want people, when you make a mistake, to trust you didn’t do it on purpose and you were giving it your best effort?
So, let’s start treating people like we want to be treated (Luke 6:31). When we “read people’s mind,” let’s choose to read the best possible motives. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt. That’s love. That’s Christianity in practice.
I love you and God loves you,