“Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.”
Ephesians 4:32 ERV
Assume good intent is a phrase that I have heard over and over, it’s used at work, at home, at church and at play. It’s good advice. Assume good intent, I like that phrase , yes I do.
When you assume good intent, you are not so easily hurt and damaged. You don’t take offense and feel the need to defend yourself. It’s giving people the benefit of the doubt. It’s like giving people the same grace you would expect.
example of this at work:
My daughter and I went on a retreat with several women. Some of the women we knew well and others causally. My daughter suffers from generalized anxiety disorder and anything can send her into panic attacks. During the days we were at the conference her anxiety was heightened and she spent a lot of time in the room trying to be ok. When we returned one of the women let her know she thought my daughter was being snooty and standoffish. My daughter then reminded her about her illness, because my daughter is very open about it and has become an advocate even as she still suffers, she let the woman know that she enjoyed what she could but anxiety is not easily managed especially in large groups due to the fight or flight nature of the disorder. The woman then felt bad because she had forgotten and she didn’t ask if my daughter was ok she just assumed she was standoffish and snooty. They moved on from that because each person was ready to see the others point and continue to build on the relationship. If my daughter had not assumed good intent she could have ruined a budding relationship.
I said all that to say this: we don’t know what other people are going through, we may know some but never all because all of us have those things we cannot discuss. So in a world where you get to choose, choose to be KIND.
“You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. Be that new person who was made to be like God, truly good and pleasing to him.”
Ephesians 4:23-24 ERV