The Benefit of the Doubt

Dec 12, 2023

Have you ever caught yourself in the act of judging? I know I have. We often look at our own actions through rose-colored glasses, but when it comes to others, it's as if we switch to magnifying lenses. The following quote has been on my mind all week: "We judge ourselves by our best intentions. Everyone else by their actions." I know for me; it’s been a real gut check and that’s what inspired this week’s thoughts.

I’ve loved and recited this quote from Maya Angelou for a long time, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." I believe there is truth found in actions. But I can't help but wonder, do I sometimes miss the forest for the trees? We are all complicated people, often acting under pressures and circumstances others don’t know about.

Now, let's throw a little Biblical grace into this mix. In the Scriptures, grace is this beautiful, unearned kindness — Obviously, the greatest grace is the salvation offered through Christ’s sacrifice, but it’s also a reminder of how selfless gestures can make a big difference. It's about understanding before judging, about offering a helping hand or a listening ear, even when it's not asked for.

That leads to the thought that while honesty in acknowledging someone's actions is important, it's equally vital to remember that we don't fully understand their heart or their entire situation. It's easy to see the actions – a missed deadline, a hurried email, a forgotten meeting – but what about the unseen pressures, the personal challenges? This isn't about excusing every mistake, but about giving room for grace. As we tread these waters, let's strive to balance honesty with empathy, acknowledging the actions but also offering the benefit of the doubt. Because in the end, it's not just about being right; it's about being understanding, being human.

That leads me to this week’s challenge… Let's make grace our hidden superpower. As we navigate through our tasks and interactions, let's consciously sprinkle a bit of grace in our days. Whether it's understanding a teammate’s oversight or offering a helping hand without being asked, let's practice this art of grace. I believe it could start a ripple effect of kindness and understanding, not only at work, but in homes and communities. It’s not something you can put under the tree, but it may still be the best gift you give this year.

I’m thankful that you were willing to go to work today, that you took the time to read this, and for being a part of what makes the world wonderful!

Have an amazing day!