You know, you can believe the best about others…and not have high expectations. It is a way to love them. Love believes the best. That people can achieve amazing things, make great decisions, follow through.
When they let you down, you have a choice to make: give them grace, or be offended and let that offense sit in your heart.
CHOICE A: If you choose grace, you will notice something intriguing. Other people will usually give you grace when you mess up. You have a free sense about you. You allow yourself to move on and focus on other things ~ serving others, or on how God has been so gracious and merciful to you and your family, or on ways you can make your day fulfilling and productive and joyful.
CHOICE B: If you choose to be offended, you will notice something, too. The offense will not be content with sitting there grumbling under its breath, “I’m offended”. It will grow like a saturated demon-possessed sea monkey. It will obsess, it will growl, it will rob. It will nag you with all your perceived entitlements. It will blind you to that person’s unique and delightful qualities. It will not relent, but will wait with long suffering until their next offensive move. Then still unsatisfied, will boast with a hundred “I KNEW IT”s that will not quench nor satisfy for long. It will divert your attention from the good in others…and worse, the good in God. It will lie and tell you abstract, distorted generalizations about groups of people. Lies about children or women or men or the church or married life or people who grow up a certain way you did not.
Even when it is SO difficult to do, do it. When it seems you have much to lose, do not believe it. The only time you lose is when you harbor offense.
Instead, risk it. Pray for help, and love people in a way that Paul told the Corinthians to love. In an unassuming, forgiving way that is unnatural to do over and over and over, but is rewarding ten times over:
Choose to believe the best.