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Believe the Best – Jerk Reaction

JerkKey Bible Verse:  The trouble with you is that you make your decisions on the basis of appearance.  2 Corinthians 10:7

Bonus Reading:  Hebrews 6:4-12

I showed up at the house of a friend and rang the doorbell.  I was supposed to bring some chairs.  He opened the door and said, “Ron, where are the chairs?”

I responded, “Oh, I forgot.”

He glared at me and barked, “That figures!”

I thought, That figures?  He thinks I’m no good.  He thinks I can’t follow through.  He thinks I’m useless.

Then I thought, Who does he think he is?  The creep.  I bet he’s got a problem or twelve!

But then I decided I had two options: believe the best about what he was saying—although that was pretty tough—and just forget about it, or ask him what he meant—even though it seemed obvious to me.

A couple of weeks later I saw him and brought it up: “You know the other day when I was at your house and forgot to bring the chairs and you said, ‘That figures’? …”

He interrupted me and said, “I shouldn’t have said that.”

“I was wondering what you meant.”

“Well, all day long that day in every meeting someone had forgotten something.  It just figured.”

So, he wasn’t saying, “Jenson, you’re a jerk.”  He was saying, “My day’s been terrible.”

—Ron Jenson in Fathers and Sons

My Response:  A time that I mistakenly assumed the worst was …

Adapted from Fathers and Sons (Broadman & Holman, 1998)

Prayer for the Week:  Lord, you received me when I was down and out.  Help me to accept others in the same spirit.

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