He who seeks good finds goodwill, but evil comes to him who searches for it. –Proverbs 11:27
Grade school kids know there are teachers they hope and pray they don’t end up with. These teachers are known for their tough demeanor, their difficult class requirements, or their huge homework assignments. These are teachers who make you stay in at lunch if you speak out of turn or who seem to be out to get you for no reason at all!
These teachers don’t stand a chance! Kids know these teachers by their reputations. Students who are assigned to these teachers are already expecting the worst. No matter how nice the teacher may be, how often the teacher compliments the children or gives them treats, an impression already exists. When kids expect a hard, mean and unfair teacher, they usually find one.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “When you look for the bad in man you shall certainly find it.” The opposite of this is also true. When we look for the good, we will find it as well. If you sit down with anyone long enough, you can find something good.
Behind a rough exterior may be a man who is scared because he has never known to trust anyone. Behind a gossipy encounter may be a woman who is insecure because she never had a supportive family. Behind a bad first impression may be a woman who just found out she had cancer. Behind the man who cut you off in traffic may be a man whose wife is about to have a baby.
We cannot tell about a person based on what others say about them, or even based on our own first impression. Look beyond their reputation to the reality. When you look for the good in someone, you will find it. But, you have to take the time to look.
1. Reflect on a time that you judged someone based on what others said about him or her. Did you treat that person differently?
2. What are things that hold you back from looking for the good in a person?
Job 4:7-8; Psalm 7:15-16; Luke 6:43-45