Philippians 4:8,9 (New International Version)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.…And the God of peace will be with you.
There is little in this world that is wholly bad or wholly worthless. This is especially true of people. Sometimes people annoy us, betray us, or seriously injure us. Some may rob us of something valuable and show no remorse. Others may treat us with indifference.
Because we are children of the Most High, however, we understand—perhaps better than anyone—that outward behaviors, whether good or bad, cannot alter a person’s worth. We are each precious bearers of God’s image, every one of us.
When we’ve been hurt by others, we may be tempted to close our minds against hearing or thinking anything good about them. But Scripture reminds us to look for the good as God faithfully looks for the good in us. Looking for the good doesn’t mean we are in denial or delusional but rather correcting distortions that keep us from seeing the whole person. When we diligently look for the good in someone, we can usually find it.
Finding the good in people is a skill we can practice. We begin by recognizing that, despite our flaws and failures and sometimes our outright rebellion, God remains faithful to us, always working in our best interests and loving us with extravagant and unconditional love. When we deeply grasp how far God came to save us and how undeserving of his mercies we truly are, we find it easier to overlook flaws and failures in those around us. We can love and forgive others with the very same love and grace that God lavishes on us. Just as we want God to notice what is good and right about us, we know that others need our positive regard as well.
When humility and thankfulness replace the bitterness in our hearts, kinder words come out of our mouths, and peace and healing are not far behind.
FATHER, it is so easy to close my mind against someone who has hurt me. I confess I do not want to look for the good because I’d rather fuel my resentment and justify my anger and hurt. Teach me to be more like you and to see the whole person without distortions. Show me the goodness you see in these people whom you love so dearly that you sacrificed your Son to save them.
Proverbs 4:23; 1 John 2:10-11
Do you think there is good in everyone?