Thursday, June 30, 2011

Benefit of the Doubt

What a revelation this young lady was disclosing as she spoke.  I was sitting in an adult Bible Study Class, and the teacher had just asked the question, “How can we love our enemies?”     

image courtesy of PhotoBucket

One of the ladies was explaining how she reacts to people who are rude or angry or very upset.

She said she just makes up an excuse for them in her mind and gives them the “Benefit of the doubt.”

She reasoned, perhaps they have had a very bad day, they received some bad news, are getting over the flue, or they may possibly have a rock in their shoe!!

She went on to say that she chooses to believe something good about the person, rather than something bad, when she has the possibility of doing either.

If we treated our enemies and friends this way, believing the best of them, we might be able to stop all wars or at least get along better with each other. 

Image courtesy Photo Bucket
One thing we must realize is - - that in believing the best of people, we must not justify wickedness. Honestly, some people are simply mean, manipulative, hateful and evil.  We can pray for them to repent and to open their heart to the Lord.

Understand that they probably will not listen to you preaching at them, but you can pray that God will send someone else to them. They may listen to a friend, a neighbor a TV program, or read a magazine that will strike a cord in their spirit.

The best thing is to try first to give them the benefit of the doubt, and if that doesn’t work, then the next best thing is to distance your self from them.

In a job situation this may not be possible, but you can at least be civil and polite.

image courtesy photobucket
Other times it is wise to learn to be quiet !!  

Proverbs 15:1 - 2 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.

Proverbs 19:11 A man's discretion makes him slow to anger, And it is his glory to overlook a transgression.

Sharing this post at "There and back again"  Inspired by Polly's post on adjusting our view with our camera.  My post on Benefit of the Doubt is adjusting our thinking and attitudes.  See it again at: 


  1. I needed this reminder. I'm a little guilty of jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst of people. God forgive me. Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Excellent advice. Thank you.

  3. Hazel - I like how you are seeing things differently here, looking at another with grace rather than judgment. Oh, how I need to do this, too. Thanks for joining me with There and Back Again, again!


How to leave a comment - Select Name/Url and enter your Name in the name box.. (do not enter anything in the URL box) Be sure to click the box - I am not a robot.