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The Benefit of the Doubt

by Jim Gillaspie

JimGillaspieColorDid you ever jump to a hasty conclusion, only to find out that you were wrong? Maybe you heard about the fellow named John who picked up a hitchhiker one day on his way to work. After a while he noticed that his wallet was missing, so he pulled the car over to the side of the road and said to the young man he had picked up "give me that wallet before I beat you to a pulp!" The young rider nervously handed him the wallet. Then John barked: "Now get out of the car!" Again, the young man quickly complied, and John drove off to work, muttering something about what this world was coming to. That evening when John got home, he couldn't wait to tell his wife about his experience with the hitchhiker, but before he could say anything, his wife said: "Dear, did you know that you left your wallet on the dresser this morning?”

Someone has said that the only exercise many ever get is jumping to conclusions. What if we began to give one another the benefit of the doubt? Paul said love "believes all things" (1 Cor 13:7). The idea is that love takes the kindest views of men's actions and circumstances, and is ready to believe the best of every person. This kind of love will eliminate the following expressions: "He did that because..." or "She just said that because..." True love gives the benefit of the doubt!


          Jim Gillaspie is minister of the Kentucky Avenue Church of Christ, Louisville, KY.


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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10