Assuming the best
Let’s not hold any punches. Assuming the best is not the same as denying the truth. Assuming the best is accepting the facts about what is happening or what was done, and putting it in a proper context. Instead of letting the facts of what someone did to us or others become the truth, we take those facts and put them in the highest of truth - what God did for them. We must start there. Assuming the best reminds us that no matter the offense, we need not pay it back since it was already paid for by Christ. This goes for ourselves as well. Assuming the best is not a cover-up for sin or offense, it is going into a discussion about it with an attitude towards the person of love and disbelief, rather than of condemnation and disowning. Assuming the best derives from the same place that expectation of vision comes from. Hope that there is more than we can even know or imagine. It comes from the same place as faith itself – sure of what we hope for, certain of what we don’t see. The issue there is that we are often certain of what we don’t see – certain of their motives and why they did it. And when we are certain of what we don’t see in terms of offense, we build our faith in someone around assuming the worst of them. And we are certain of that worse. We throw out completely the hope we hope for. If this is the case, then maybe we must be in control of what we are certain of. Maybe hope should drive our certainty. Maybe we need to say to ourselves “I am certain this is not what they meant, or that there is more to it that I don’t see.” Rather than “I am certain this is who they are and this is how they feel about me.” Often when we are certain without hope, we say “ I know this is how they are, therefore talking about it with them is pointless.” Rather than “I sure hope there is more than I know going on and I am certain I need to talk with them.” When we don’t assume the best, our reconciliation and conversation is halted. The devil wins because we begin to isolate and stay silent. Well, silent until we can damage our leaders, ourselves, and our church I guess. That’s the thing about certainty – it eventually must be heard. So we have to be really careful what we choose to be certain of. Friends, I am speaking to myself more than I am to you right now. I cannot tell you how often and how relevant this is to me, even as I write this. A chapter from an unpublished work by Freedom Noble
Let’s back the train up a little bit and go back to the thought about expectation of vision. If assuming the best stems from the same place as expectation of vision, then if we lose the battle of certainty, what happens to our vision for our life, our church, and our family? It begins to be certain as well. Certain we must leave. Certain we must quit. certain we will never be. Certain we will never move. Certain we will never get. Certain we will never feel joy again. Certain they don’t love me. Certain they don’t know me. Assuming the worst will always choke out vision and stagnate our expectation. It will confuse our steps. Reconciliation is the true lamp to our feet. David the psalmist often said that God was the lamp to his feet, or that His word was the guide to the path, and if you don’t already know – the Word of God is JESUS – The reconciliation of God. Every drop of ink, chisel of stone, speaking of word, was for this one point. Assuming the best then must stem out of staying in the reconciled truth of God. That we are all offenders and we all have been reconciled, and we all have the ministry to reconcile. Assuming the best demands that I go to my brother and expect to be surprised. That I hope to be healed back to them, and that I am certain they are greater than the facts that have presented to me (or have been done to me). Assuming the best keeps our brothers and sisters away from being our enemies, our leaders away from being dishonored, and ultimately we stop trying to make everyone “team satan”. Because when I try to make everyone out to be the bad guy – I myself am running the field, getting ready to score the first touchdown for team satan. I have become the great recruiter to his cause and the quarterback calling the plays. And he is well pleased in me. Maybe you don’t like me talking about satan. That’s ok. Assume the best about me that I only do so to drive home the truth that we end up creating the pain we feel. Hurt people hurt people. Satan doesn’t need evil people. He needs broken people to stay broken. Hurt people to stay hurt. Offended people to stay offended. Because eventually they become certain in these things, with no expectation to be anything more, and no hope for anyone else. And when we become certain, we must speak. We must act. We must hurt. So this seems bleak. But there is hope – you can begin today to assume the best. You can begin today to re-write the offense to no longer be THE TRUTH, but rather facts within a higher truth – that we sometimes offend. And we sometimes act out of our brokenness, and that each one of us carries the mantle of reconciliation with us. The truth that we need to have the conversation to clear up the offense. That we can say to the mountain of offense “move” and it will plunge into the sea. And if grace is an ocean, all our mountains are sinking. A chapter from an unpublished work by Freedom Noble
It will be hard. Your heart will rail within you. But begin to separate the offense from someone’s character or history. Begin to count the things that you love about them, that you believe about them outside of the offenses and begin to have hope again for them and yourself. And watch faith, hope and love rise. For in doing so three things remain: faith, hope and love. Let’s begin today to assume the best about the worst around us. Because in doing so we become certain of the hope for them (and us) in Christ our Lord and Savior.
A chapter from an unpublished work by Freedom Noble
An Article written by Pastor Freedom Noble