1 Corinthians 13:5
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil
Once upon a time following an event at our golf course, one of the older gentleman innocently asked another one of the guys competing “how he was doing?” Anger immediately erupted and the younger guy was ready to fight. Everyone took a step backward as we tried to decipher what exactly generated such hostility. The “red faced” guy explained that he had hit a ball out of bounds in the competition earlier, the older gentleman knew it and was making fun of him by asking “how he was doing.” Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed and an apology ensued.
We all are guilty of allowing negatively infect our perceptions. It’s like that small spot on our shirt. We think that everyone is looking at the blemish because that’s all we see when we look down at ourselves. Paul taught the church at Corinth that “love thinks no evil.” This concept is difficult today as we attempt to analyze everything a person says or does. We each think of ourselves as “arm chair” psychologists and know the mind of everyone around us. However, our diagnoses usually lead to the negative motivation. When there are 10 explanations for something someone has did or said to us, we could interpret it nine ways positively and one way negatively. We would rather go with the one negative just in case the person was attempting to “get one over on us.”
Love doesn’t see things in this negative pessimistic fashion. Thankfully, God interprets and views our actions in unexplainable love. If there are 10 negative interpretations and one only positive, love goes with the chance for the positive. Our God has this kind of love and He desires His children to have the same perception.
In his book “The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment”, Jeremiah Burroughs wrote “God is pleased to call those perfect who have any uprightness of heart in them, he accounteth them perfect: ‘Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect’; uprightness in God’s sense is perfection.” Thus, if there is just a little uprightness in us, God considers this sufficient for perfection.
We make a habit of belittling ourselves into a state of worthlessness because of what we don’t possess in either goods or ability. We often have this negative view when we consider our sin-stained past. Burroughs gives us the assurance that “God is pleased to make such an interpretation as to say, ‘it is perfect.'” Because of our justification and redemption through the sacrifice of His son, we are made positively perfect.
I’m thankful for a mighty, yet merciful God. He can take a little good and make it perfect. He isn’t the old school elementary school teacher taking names and handing out demerits. Give love a chance! There’s a little uprightness in there somewhere.