The benefit of the doubt

I heard recently of a minster who parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn’t find a legal parking place.  

Before hurrying off he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: ‘I have circled the block 10 times. If I don’t park here, I’ll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses.’ 

When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note ‘I’ve circled this block for 10 years. If I don’t give you a ticket, I’ll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation.’ 

This little story illustrates how the reason something is an issue is because there are at least two people who see the same situation in a different way. 

Unfortunately, when someone disagrees with our point of view, we are often prone to play the role of the police officer and want to start issuing citations.  But instead of firing off that angry response, why not give them the benefit of the doubt and choose to believe the best of them. 

I know…this advice seems a little Pollyanna, but the way we’re currently trying to resolve our issues sure isn’t working. 

The ONE THING for today:

The reason we give someone the benefit of the doubt is because it is a benefit…for both sides of the issue.   

Photo by Josh Newton on Unsplash

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