This past week we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday. It was quite a celebration. We ate her favorite food, orange chicken from Panda Express. She had cake pops with green sprinkles because green is her favorite color. She got a new princess dress. It was a wonderful party.
All was not perfect though. Whenever you get people together, you run into problems. We bring our issues, imperfections, attitudes, prejudices, preferences, and sin wherever we go, even to a celebration. I heard a story of one incident that occurred at the party and it taught me a lesson.
The little girls were running around playing. Three of them took off running to a back bedroom. Two of them ran into the bedroom and slammed the door closed. They locked little Quinn out, leaving her standing alone outside. My daughter Jessica saw this happen and she went to resolve the problem.
When she told little Quinn that she was sorry that this had happened, the response was priceless. Quinn said, “It’s ok. I thought Greta just needed some alone time”. She had thought the best of the people involved even though they were actually being mean. I thought that this was so sweet. Then I started wondering if it was wise or healthy. I decided it is the best way to be.
When we give people the benefit of the doubt and allow them to be themselves without fear of condemnation, good things happen. I would like to name just a few.
1. Quinn’s feelings weren’t hurt because she didn’t take the other girls’ behavior personally. She put the responsibility for that choice on them.
2. Quinn’s response protected the relationship between the girls. They could continue playing together without tension because Quinn wasn’t holding a grudge.
3. The choice allowed for an authority figure to intervene easily and deal with the real issue. There wasn’t a bunch of added sin issues involved that needed to be weeded through to get to the heart of the matter.
4. The soft heart and kind attitude of this precious girl brought joy to those around her.
5. Showing love and patience even when others are imperfect fulfills the law of Christ, “Love others as yourself”.
6. Gentleness and kindness glorify God.
My prayer today is that I will be more like Quinn. I want to think the best of others. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt when I do not know their motives. It is my heart’s desire to think what is good and healthy for me and those around me.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8, ESV)