July 30, 2019

Assume The Best

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 30, 2019

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10

In today’s world, it seems that people everywhere jump to conclusions about other’s motivations.

“He said that because he wants to hurt that man.” 

“She did that because she was trying to manipulate him.” 

“He always does that because he wants to look better than others.” 

Jumping to conclusions often leads to offense. Rooted in pride or fear, it never serves anyone well. It can hurt and even destroy relationships. But understanding heart motivations and where someone is coming from is wise. 

For example, my husband Clark is a servant through and through. One of his life mottos is to put others first. He believes in caring for friends and family and he was raised to practice humility in his relationships.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

Clark’s attitude of service is often evident when we are deciding where to go on vacation, or where we should eat dinner. 

“Which restaurant would you like?” I ask.

“It’s up to you. It’s your choice,” he says.  

Someone who doesn’t really know Clark might assume and jump to the conclusion that he isn’t demonstrating leadership skills. But to Clark, being a servant is being a leader. 

To another man, being a leader may mean always deciding where to go out to eat. 

While speaking with Clark one afternoon, he shared with me how his father taught him that integrity was of utmost importance, and that putting others first and practicing humility is necessary for relationships to grow. 

A few days later, Clark’s “you first” attitude made sense. It’s not that he is wishy washy or indecisive. He is a servant—and I admire that. 

This is why communication—rather than jumping to conclusions—is so important in relationships. When you understand what motivates others to do what they do, giving grace comes naturally. And, as it was with my husband, their actions may even become something you admire, all because you know their motivation.

So, the next time your mate, friend, child, neighbor or coworker does something that rubs you the wrong way, that you don’t agree with or you just don’t understand, rather than assume you know why they did what they did, talk with them instead. 

The key to living a harmonious life with another person is to understand their internal motivations and heart. When you can hear their perspective—rather than assume what they feel—you will grow in relational skills and more of what it means to love unselfishly. 

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves”. (Philippians 2:3).

Prayer

Lord, please give me wisdom in my relationships and help me to never jump to conclusions or assume what is motivating those close to me without understanding their hearts.


Application

Are you assuming or jumping to conclusions about someone you know or someone close to you? Do what you need to do to bring peace to that relationship, perhaps even talk with them about how they feel.


Related Reading

1 Corinthians 10:24; 1 John 4:7-8; Galatians 2:20


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Patient listening—rather than jumping to conclusions—is critical for healthy relationships. #WisdomHunters #Jesus #best


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