Love Bears All Things
As February is the month that celebrates love, it is a great time to improve and expand our hearts to love! But we live in a world impacted by corrupted values. So much so, that some people are always suspicious of others’ motives, constantly doubting their intentions, even searching for hidden agendas behind compliments or praise. “This kind of doubting or suspicion as a habit is unloving and therefore wrong”, explains Pastor John Piper. Christians should operate in love, and the very nature of love seeks out the good in others. 1 Corinthians 13:7 reads, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Love hopes for the best from people, not the worst! Love does to others what we would have done to ourselves. We don’t like people to second-guess our motives. IF you don’t like it when people attribute motives to you that are not there, so you shouldn’t do that to others!
Consider these four constructive ways to combat this consuming habit:
Shed Anxiety. Anxious suspicion of others’ motives is not productive. Jesus ‘ words in Matthew 6:27 are, “…which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to the span of his life?” Anxious suspicion of others’ motives does no good. It doesn’t help us. It doesn’t add anything to our lives. It only makes relationships harder — not better!
Search your own heart. Questioning other people’s intentions may be a symptom of your own tendency for ulterior motives. Find ways to praise other people only whenever there’s real reason to praise them. Perhaps the more you form the habit of praising others this way, the less you’ll automatically assume others would do anything differently for you.
Accept praise and offer genuine thanks. Decide that when someone praises you, you will return genuine thanks, and not even think of payback they could get from you. If those offering you praise really do have ulterior motives, maybe your authentic gladness in receiving the praise minus any payback will dry up their ulterior motives because it doesn’t work!
Pray. Followers of Christ need to pray continually. Specifically ask God to fill you with His love and take away your tendencies toward suspicion.