Give the Benefit of the Doubt

Big Point: When we love one another, we can give each other the benefit of the doubt.
While the words “home” and “house” are often used interchangeably, in reality they can be quite different. According to dictionary.com, one of the definitions of home is where our affections abide. Contrast that with the word house, which almost always refers to the physical building alone. In other words, home is more than a place, it is a frame of mind; and just as home is...
a frame of mind, so is giving the ones we love the most the benefit of the doubt.
The irony is that we find it easier to give the benefit of the doubt to those we don’t live with and love, more often than to those who we do. In fact, the ones we love the most are typically the first to know they have fallen short of our expectations and receive the least amount of our benefit of the doubt when they “mess up”.
To give someone the benefit of the doubt means that we choose to believe the best about them rather than the worst, when we could do either. We’re not talking about a stranger here, but someone we intimately know and have trusted in the past. They are trustworthy. It is these people that could use an extra measure of our grace when conflicts or miscommunications arise so that the relationship stays strong and comes first during turmoil. Paul talked about the importance of this when he wrote to the church in Ephesus to encourage them to greater unity. He gave specific instructions on what to do and explained why it was so important.
READ IT… What does the Bible say?
Ephesians 4:2-4 (New Living Translation)
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future.
Question: What are three character traits Paul is urging the people to exhibit? What does he tell us to do with the faults of others?
Answer:
BELIEVE IT… What is the lesson for me?
Even if it’s easy to become angry and irritated with those we love, we are called to be humble, gentle and patient. Why?
LIVE IT… What will I do now?
Do you give those you love the benefit of the doubt or do you always jump to the worst conclusion?
Sometimes our inability to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who is trustworthy is more about being right than it is about the relationship. As one popular author writes, “Is my desire in this conflict to prove that I am right or improve the relationship?” Which is it for you?
PRAY… Ask God to cultivate in you a spirit of humbleness, gentleness and patience and to eliminate the need to be right. Ask for opportunities to extend the benefit of the doubt to those you love throughout the week so that the relationship comes first.
More Living It Out

Dig Deeper with this week’s teaching pastor:
Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

I'm Jan and I'm happy you stopped in. Please, leave a comment and follow along..

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful Jan. Love the cross stitch and the lesson to go with it. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas to you and the pups. Sending love your way. Hugs. xo

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