1 Corinthians 13:7b (AMPC)
We express love not just with our words, but with our attitudes and actions. One of the characteristics of God’s love is to love by choice. The Holy Spirit doesn’t just come upon us and we are kind or not rude. We choose to be or to do these things. It takes a yielding of our will. We must make a choice to walk in these love characteristics.
For years, I thought that the love characteristics found in 1Corinthians 13:4-8, would just manifest themselves without any effort on my part. One day, in my frustration, I asked the Holy Spirit why kindness and goodness weren’t just coming out of me. To my surprise, He gave me Deuteronomy 30:19. I thought, what does that scripture have to do with being kind and believing the best of others? It says, “I set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, but choose life.” It took me a while to get what He was telling me. I told Him, “You mean I have to choose not to be rude? I have to choose to believe the best in others, to be long-suffering?” He said, “Yes.”
Life is about decisions. We all had to make a decision to get saved, to make Jesus Lord over our lives. The most powerful thing He gave Adam and Eve, and all of mankind, was the power of choice. He showed me that, as a believer, happiness is a byproduct of obedience. Isaiah 1:19 tells me that if I am willing and obedient, I will eat the good of the land.
At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus made a choice. He did not want His will to be done, but His Father’s will. When we choose God’s way, the power to walk it out will come, not before. After the choice is made the Bible says I should be ready to believe the best of every person as an act of my will or choice.
God’s love believes the best of every person. That takes faith and obedience. Jesus revealed three directions that love must flow in.
1. We are to love upward toward God.
2. We are to love outward toward others.
3. We are to love inward toward ourselves.
If I don’t believe the best of myself, how can I believe the best in others? And if I believe the best in others and not myself, I am a hypocrite. Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself. Someone once said, “To love the whole world, for me, is not a chore. My real problem is loving myself and my neighbor next door.”
Let me ask you a question. Do you love yourself? I had to make a choice to love myself because I battled an inferiority complex. When I meditated on 1 Corinthians 13:7, I came to realize that if God is asking me to believe the best in every person, that means He already believes the best in me.
We all stand before the audience of One. Paul tells us that from now on we should no longer regard ourselves, define ourselves or identify ourselves according to our past. We have a new identity (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). So, with the same love God chooses to love us and believe the best of us, we can choose to believe the best in others.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
Believing the best in others brings out the best in us. When looking at your family, friends, co-workers and even yourself, don’t be moved by what things look like now. See others through the eyes of God’s love. Don’t get hung up on the, “I don’t deserve it or I’m not worthy” mentality.
To believe the best in others we must believe the best of ourselves. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t want to give us what we deserve. He wants to give us what Jesus deserves because Jesus lives in us. (Elder Henry Acevedo)
“Father, You have given me the power of choice; therefore, I choose to believe the best of myself and others. I choose to love as You do. I choose to walk in love.”
TODAY’S BIBLE READING
- Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 3-4; Psalms 125
- New Testament: Luke 7:18-35; Colossians 1:15-29