Friday, December 08, 2006

Judging Motives

This is one of those ideas I have thought about often and I believe it to be true, but difficult to do. The principle is that we simply cannot judge other people’s motives – and we shouldn’t try. Obviously, this usually only surfaces as an issue when someone we do not trust attempts to do something good or nice for us.

When this happens to me my initial reaction is pretty much always a question – what’s the catch? In other words, I don’t trust you, what are you up to?

I do believe that it is normal and healthy to have this reaction, but here’s the problem. As a Christ follower I know God expects me to forgive others – after all He has completely forgiven me. However, I’m certainly not God and so I find that standard hard to live up to. Yet, that’s still what I know is the right thing to do.

How can others seek peace with me if I don’t give them a chance?

Again, let me be very clear, I do NOT have this one all figured out and do NOT practice what I’m “preaching” as often as I want to. But it is still true – if I want to heal relationships with those who have done me wrong in the past I must allow them a chance to do the right thing (you can see how this ties in with my post earlier this week).

BUT – what if they mistreat me again? What if I’m right and their motives are wrong?

This is the hard part of this idea – because too often their motives are still out of whack. I believe we need to approach these situations with caution – I do not believe we are called to be “doormats” for people to continue to hurt us. This is why we must have another relationship that we know is always solid. And the only One I know who always has my best in mind… is God. It is the security of that relationship that allows me to be willing to risk being hurt by others, because my sense of self-worth does not come from my relationship with other people – it comes from knowing who I am in God’s eyes – lived out in a daily relationship with Him.

My guess is some of you (maybe all of you) – regardless of your current relationship with God find this post a bit challenging to buy. Will you at least take some time to think about it? Consider it a Christmas present to me (and to yourself), to consider how you may be able to restore some old relationships that went bad for some reason or another. If we could all work on treating others better and giving more second (and third and fourth…) chances, what a much more merry Christmas would be.

If you know you’re the one on the end of this deal that “did someone else wrong,” go back and read “It’s Never to Late to Do the Right Thing” post from earlier this week.

Okay, that’s enough for one post. I’d love to get your feedback – so leave me your comments.

Here's one of the best songs I know that talks about who I am because of my relationship with God through Jesus...

1 comment:

Jeri said...

It is strange, but in a way when we assume someones motives are one way or another, it really just allows us to respond how we want.... avoidance of the situation or reconciliation... hmmmm... food for thought.