It’s easy to assume the worst. It’s easy to dismiss someone else’s views as idiotic and misinformed. It’s easy to think that we know best and someone who thinks or acts differently must be the enemy. It’s easy to take things in the worst possible way.
In his explanation to the Commandment, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor,” the Christian leader Martin Luther said, “We should . . . speak well of [our neighbor], and take his words and actions in the kindest possible way.” In other words, God calls us to do the hard thing.
Loving others isn’t always easy, but it’s the right thing to do. Be charitable. Assume the best if there isn’t evidence otherwise. Realize human beings are people—people for whom God gave his own Son. God calls them our neighbors. We’re sent to the world to love, respect, and speak well of our neighbors.
What if every time someone saw our social media posts or heard us speak, they said, “I’m glad they said that”? Our words have power to destroy. They also have power to build up.
Let’s build others up. Let’s use our words to show we take words and actions in the kindest possible way.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).