Psalm 61:3

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; for You have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Everybody wants to receive it, but nobody wants to give it.

What is it?  It is the benefit of the doubt. 

Everybody wants it to be given to them.  If you screw up you want people to assume that you tried your hardest.  If you say something mean you wish everyone took it as a joke.  When you send an e-mail that might possibly be taken in a sarcastic light, you want the recipient to take it with a grain of salt.

Yet, when someone does something I don't like, I jump to the conclusion that they are an evil, sadistic personality who wants to ruin my life.  They must by intentionally making my life miserable.  They are the devil in disguise, all evidence to the contrary. 

A slip of the tongue becomes an insult.  A gentle reminder becomes nagging.  A friendly suggestion becomes a hate-filled critique.  It was not intended that way, but that is the way I took it.   

The older wording of the 8th Commandment stated that "we should fear and love God so that we ... put the best construction on everything."  In other words, we should assume that people mean the best, even if we rightfully suspect they do not.  We should gives others the same benefit of the doubt that we want them to give us.      

As much as we all desire to receive it, lets work on giving it a little more.



 

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