In Seth Godin’s daily blog last Saturday, he told us to give people the benefit of the doubt.

What he said was that our language is imperfect, especially in a multicultural place like America, or on the web.  We mean one thing and the other interprets it different.  (example:  what my wife meant for me to do and what I thought she wanted.)

Godin suggests that with friends, we give them the benefit of the doubt that what they did was what they thought we wanted, and we excuse reasonable misunderstandings.  Or we take time to clarify what they asked us to do.  But with strangers or casual interactions, “we assume the worst.”

People will come to your church, not knowing your language, not responding the way you’d expect them to.  Or someone misunderstands during a church business meeting.  Or they come at a passage with a different interpretation based on a different background set of circumstances.  Your job, as a member of the body of Christ, is to treat them like a friend and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Assume they don’t know they’ve offended you, and be less easily offended.  It will go a long way toward creating unity in the body.

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