Friday, October 18, 2013

The Benefit of the Doubt

I believe that it is important to learn to give the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes we are so quick to judge others, even those closest to us, as a means to elevate ourselves by thinking belittling thoughts about them. How can such destructive behavior ever amount to anything constructive? It can't.

It is so much more profitable to show patience, not only in others (and what they do and say), but in our reacting to them. Pausing, to give ourselves processing time is a wise choice. We do not need to allow first impressions of anyone or any event mar our overall ability to perceive clearly. Often if we seek clarification, we are pleasantly surprised that we are all nearly on the same page after all. And it's important to not hastily spread any early doubts to another's detriment or even to our own.

Communication takes effort, but it is well worth it, in avoiding misunderstandings and judgments that leave hurts and scars that can take days or even years to heal. Pride has a way of making us hold unto our hurts in justification of our own rightness and in seeking to prove how much we have been wronged. And often this destructive cycle begins with a small infraction, a miscommunication, or a breach in understanding. Instead of being quick to take offense, we should extend to each other the benefit of the doubt.

How has giving others the benefit of the doubt changed your perspective or blessed your life? How has doing so preserved a friendship?

How has someone extending to you the benefit of the doubt affected you?

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