For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (Hebrews 8:12)
Amazingly, we have a God who thinks the best of us. Our Father looks at us through the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, and through Him sees the best that is in us. He chooses to see us as an expression and an extension of His Son whose life indwells us. This is what the Father does, and the Son expressed this divine vantage point in His interactions when He was on earth. Jesus saw the best in the disciples, the sick, the lame, the needy, the tax collectors, the women, the adultress woman, and on and on. In the stories of Jesus we find God’s Expression deeply valuing each person.
However, most of you probably know some conspiracy theorists, who typically spread their theories through deadly gossip (gossip is a fast acting poison that will kill community life). These people are always looking for (and reacting to) the worst intentions in others. Conspiracy theorists are constantly thinking and saying things like:
– They did that to make me look bad.
– He gave me this gift so I would feel guilty.
– She is just buttering me up so I don’t see her real intentions to undermine me.
– He only wants to help me to make himself look good – he’s using me.
– That person must be whispering about me. I’m sure they don’t really like me.
– She missed our meeting because she doesn’t care about me.
– He didn’t talk to me because he really doesn’t like me. He’s avoiding me at all costs!
And on and on…
Note that each of these statements is an accusation. And by the way, Satan actually means “the accuser”. He is one who accuses the saints, and we are following in his bitter footsteps when we do the same thing. Not only that, but to accuse a part of Christ is to accuse Christ Himself.
Also note in the verses above that God is doing the opposite of accusing. He is choosing to see the best in us by electing to remember our sins no more. God is not seeking to hold us down; He is doing everything He can to lift us up.
In Jesus, He gives us every good thing.
In Christ, we are exonerated from our sins and rebellion against God. Not that we are not responsible for the consequences and for participating in reconciliation as needed. We are agents of Christ in the world and He often calls us to untangle the knots we make.
But my point is this: as the Father sees us in Christ, so we then see others through the lens of Christ as well. Or perhaps put better, we yield to Christ in us who already sees everyone in that way.
Maybe some people don’t care about us. Maybe they do want to undermine us, hurt us, ignore us, and so on. But everyone of those people are dealing with something in their life at that very moment. They are dealing with their past hurts and failures. They are struggling with fears, just as everyone else does.
Many times, though, conspiracy theorists are completely wrong. Their paranoia has caused them to find faults and motives that simply are not there. This can then lead to gossip that is completely false. (This is why it is always best to confirm information directly with the source, and this can save you from getting sucked into someone’s paranoid view of others.)
Of course, sometimes people are actually trying to hurt you. Perhaps they are jealous and they want the success/position/family/happiness/etc you have. Even so, I believe the best option is to look above the offense and see them in Christ. Perhaps this means that you ignore their intentions and leave the situation to God, or you ask the Lord to show you how to respond through His wisdom and love.
If you have Christ in you, you can choose to see each person as He does. And He sees the best of them, just as He sees the best of you.
Imagine being set free from paranoia. Imagine being liberated from worrying about what or who every person is talking about. Imagine being unburdened from “discerning” every person’s intentions.
This freedom is available in Christ. He can teach you to learn to see the best in others, to look past the faults and offenses and hurts that people hurl at us, thereby becoming part of His healing and restoring work in this world.
Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. (1 Corinthians 4:5)
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. (Matthew 7:1)
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Romans 2:1)
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