Assume Positive Intent

Good morning all.  Where did the weekend go?  We really need to cherish every moment because time keeps moving along. We need to make the most of every minute, create positive memories, make a positive impact on others, and spend time with friends and family.  One obstacle to this task is encountering people that seem to want to derail us.  We can assume their motives are disruptive or we can assume their motives have a positive intent. When we assume negative, we will receive more of it, when we assume positive, we will also receive more of it.  This is our choice.  Most people want things to be better. They may have a totally different perspective than us, but they truly want things to be better.  There are those who seek the negative, but we have the opportunity to minimize their impact on our lives.  By not sinking to their level, or encouraging their behavior, we can model Christ instead and work towards turning negativity into positivity!  We can listen to their message, not with judgement or dispute, and then share our perspectives and can even nudge them to the truth. We may not change their mind, but we can continue to model Christ, and eventually they either will stop bringing negativity to us or will change their tune!  We must be on guard that the negative all around us, does not invade ourselves!  We cannot fall to criticism, or negativity.  We need to dig deep and make sure our comments and actions reflect the positivity and love of Christ.  Take a look at your actions this past week.  Were they all positive?

Decide to trust that other members are being fair, honest, and concerned for the well-being of our church. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Surrender the urge to criticize and judge – it doesn’t help. Graciously give people the benefit of the doubt.

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4: 8)

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others.” (Matthew 7: 1)

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable,

and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never

gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7)

In my reading this week, this was specifically suggested: “…along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:22-26 )

Ideas for Action: Take a “criticism inventory.” Just how critical are you, really? Ask someone you love and trust to tell you how

you’re doing in this area. Try a 24-hour fast from all forms of criticism. No complaining or criticism for an entire day.  Assume positivity from others, and work to be positive yourself in all that you do and say! How about when someone criticizes you?  Click on the video below to hear more about dealing with criticism against ourselves.  You have the choice to understand it negatively or positively.