the weblog of Alan Knox

Can you believe the best?

Posted by on Mar 21, 2007 in blog links, community, love | 7 comments

A few days ago, I was discussing unity with a group of friends. (I talked about this briefly in a post called “S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night“.) We talked about the attitudes and motives that are necessary to maintain unity in spite of disagreements. We also talked about attitudes and motives that hinder unity.

Ted, at “Jesus Community“, talks about one of the attitudes necessary for unity in his post called “thinking the best of others“. Why should we think the best of others? This is what Ted says:

We need to think the best of others. This seems to be in rhyme with the love spelled out for us in 1 Corinthians 13 that is to more and more characterize our lives. And this should be based, not on our confidence in another person so much- at least not as the basis of that confidence- but in our faith in God and his faithfulness and goodness to us in Christ. God is at work; he’s on our side. He’s there to help us in making us holy and good.

Can we trust God enough to trust others and believe the best about them? If we do, I think we would find it much more natural to live in the unity that we have in Christ.


7 Comments

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  1. 3-21-2007

    Alan,
    A couple weeks ago we were discussing the things that should and shouldn’t keep us from Christian fellowship. That’s probably a different angle than you were originally coming from.
    We were discussing why Jesus rebuked the Pharisees and how we can avoid becoming a Pharisee. The theme of the discussion was from St Augustine “In essentials – unity, in non-essentials – liberty, and in all things – charity.”

  2. 3-21-2007

    Chad,

    While I’ve heard that adage all my life, I don’t think I’ve seen too many Christians live according to it. It seems were are especially vitriolic when it comes to the non-essentials.

    -Alan

  3. 3-21-2007

    I’ve always tried to think the best of others. Often times, though, I would “defend” my friends to the point that I was overlooking some areas of their life that needed growth or that needed to be questioned.

  4. 3-21-2007

    I confess that I do not always think the best of others. But I want them to think the best of me …. convicting and edifying post …

    ~Heather

  5. 3-21-2007

    Renata,

    You are correct. There must be balance. I guess when I think of believing the best, I think more about people’s motives and attitudes.

    Heather,

    Yes, it is easy to expect people to think well of us. It is harder to return the same to others.

    -Alan

  6. 3-21-2007

    I think we often find it so much easier to be contrary than to be complimentary. This includes the assumptions we make about the things people say. We tend to think a bad intent, even with those who love us, when if we’d just communicate our concern rather than stewing internally we could quickly resolve issues.

  7. 3-21-2007

    Bryan,

    You said: “I think we often find it so much easier to be contrary than to be complimentary.” Unfortunately, I find this both true and sad – because I find it in myself.

    -Alan