Believing the Best In Others

 

 

What we believe about others is often who they will become.  

And believing the best is tough work, isn’t it? If you’ve lived any length of time, then you know that observation of human behavior has a way of making you cynical. Just watch the news for say 3 minutes.

I read something once that created a mental shift for me. It went something like this: 

If you learn to view others only as good or bad as you are, it will change the way you see them. Say what???

Let me break it down. It’s the realization that others are only capable of the same behavior and choices that I am. I find that the truth of that stings a little. We are all capable of some really good and some really dark stuff, given the right set of circumstances. Again with emphasis, given the right set of circumstances

Believing the best requires a look inward before looking outward. 

Like maybe the reason I have a hard time believing someone is being honest is because I'm aware that I'm capable of dishonesty. 

Or maybe the reason you have a hard time trusting is because you have at one time been untrustworthy.  

It requires a posture of humility, especially when our mind wants to predict the same outcome that a person has proven repeatedly. Or when our mind predicts an outcome that our own past and pain has taught us to expect. 

It requires that I admit that change is possible for anyone. Yes, even that one person.  

Even for me. I have changed and I am changing. I am not the same person I was 6 months ago.  

Reminding a person that change is possible puts the power back in their hands. And just a side note: people usually don’t like their self destructive cycle of behavior. It’s just that they feel stuck. Stuck and powerless to change. 

Believing the best deposits something into the soul that circumstances and statistics can’t take away. It looks something like this: 

~You don’t have to live this way. 
~Your future can be better than your past. 
~You don’t have to live this way. 
~A year from now, your life can look completely different. 
~Say it again...You don’t have to live this way.        

once overheard my husband say something about me that I wanted to believe about myself, but doubted.  

But hearing him say it did something inside of me. Deep inside where truth and lies battle. It made me see myself through a new lens. It became something I knew as truth rather than something I wished for. 

Your belief for the good in another person is never wasted. Never never. Especially when you are the only one who believes in them.  

Loving people well requires steadfastness. And loads of patience. It is anything but easy. 

If people tend to become who we believe...if we tend to become who we believe, then we might as well be that person who believes the best.

3 comments

  • Carol Allen

    Carol Allen Hamilton, Oh

    Love this Sarah....so good.........love the last line.........so true. Thank you.

    Love this Sarah....so good.........love the last line.........so true. Thank you.

  • Patrick

    Patrick

    This is such a good and true post! If it weren’t for those people who believed the best of me I don’t know where I would be. To me that is the powerful message of the gospel, “You loved me at my darkest” such a needed perspective thanks for inspiring me again

    This is such a good and true post! If it weren’t for those people who believed the best of me I don’t know where I would be. To me that is the powerful message of the gospel, “You loved me at my darkest” such a needed perspective thanks for inspiring me again

  • Seleste

    Seleste

    So true and such a good reminder.. so glad Jesus believes what is true of himself about me! You are so! You inspire me. Thankful for you!

    So true and such a good reminder.. so glad Jesus believes what is true of himself about me! You are so! You inspire me. Thankful for you!

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