Always try to look for the best in others
Want a simple formula for a miserable life? Just focus on the faults of others. Zeroing in on what’s wrong with everybody may sound like great sport but it just wounds and destroys.
A century ago, the eloquent minister, DeWitt Talmadge, wrote: “There is in every community and every church, watch dogs, who feel called upon to keep their eyes on others and growl. They are always the first to hear of anything wrong. Vultures are always the first to smell carrion.
“These critics are self-appointed detectives…always looking for something mean instead of something grand. They look at their neighbor’s imperfections through a telescope upside down.”
The Bible describes these hypocritical people as cannibals: “If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another” (Galatians 5:15).
This is a fitting description of them because these critics are always eating away at the character and reputation of others; always putting people down and in doing so they weaken their homes, their churches; even their nation. They have chosen a path of self destruction.
There’s a better way to live.
Try looking for the best in others. When we do so, we find them easier to love. And in loving the ones around us we become more like our Lord.
Paul’s letter to his friends in Philippi contains this startling statement: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3).
How could the great apostle write this?
Was the church to which he wrote perfect?
Of course not!
Churches are made up of imperfect people.
Someone told the still highly respected English minister, C.H. Spurgeon that he was looking for a perfect church.
“If you find one, don’t join it or you’ll spoil it,” replied Spurgeon.
The first century church was an excellent example of people conquering critical attitudes. There were 120 people gathered in an upper room following the resurrection of Christ and most of their leaders were proven failures.
Peter had denied his Lord. Thomas had doubted the resurrection. Philip had a reputation for expecting the least. James and John had tried to outrank the others and the women had gone to the tomb of Jesus with spices to do the work of undertakers, not expecting Him to be alive. In other words, the seeds of failure were among them.
Still this unlikely group put away their differences, refused to focus on their faults and became world changers.
We’re still reaping the benefits of their wise decision.
Like them, let’s look for the best in others.
Editor’s note: Roger Campbell was an author, a columnist and broadcaster who was a pastor for 22 years. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.