“I feel so uncomfortable around her. I feel like she’s always out to get me and put me down, and criticize every move I make.”
“I don’t want to go to church. Noone cares about me anyways, and they wouldn’t notice if I was there or not.”
“My family doesn’t understand me. They try and micromanage and plan out my life, not even taking into consideration what I want.”
Do any of these statements sound familiar? We are so quick to judge how others view us. Sometimes we get it right, and sometimes we don’t. We are so wrapped up in our own little worlds, hearing our own negative self-talk, and then somehow including other people’s voices along with it.
I was watching a counseling training video the other day, of a couple in marriage counseling. The husband complained that the wife never spent any time with him, and the wife complained that she didn’t have time for her husband, because she needed to clean the house, as noone else would do it. The counselors often repeated a phrase gently to the couple, and it was this: “Love hopes all things (1 Cor 13:7). Love does not form prejudgements about the other person, but rather, takes the benefit of the doubt and assumes the best of the other person, and that they intend to do you good, and not harm. When applied, this is so freeing because it means that we do not need to hold grudges, or become bitter about an interpreted offense.
Ok, so what happens if that person did intend us harm? Well, then we go back to 1 Corinthians 13. Love is not resentful, does not rejoice at wrongdoing, and bears all things (verses 5-6). Love is a different way to operate. It is one that does not look at ourselves and hold on to grievances. It is one of outward service, giving to others out of the abundance we have been given. And it is one of forgiveness, forgiving others because we have been forgiven of much.