Good will can make or break a relationship. Once we see someone with a jaundiced eye, it’s virtually impossible to interpret anything they say or do without prejudice. Viewed through a dirty lens, everything is tainted. We’ve pronounced a judgment of “guilty unless proven otherwise.” That’s a difficult burden of proof for even the most perfect person.
The enemy is great at causing us to view others with suspicion (and some of us, because of our personality or past, are more susceptible to this temptation). One slight or hurt, and we assume all kinds of negative intentions. Everything thereafter is misheard and misunderstood, and our relationship begins to suffocate from the poison gas of suspicion.
Eve was the first to suffer from this poison. The serpent cast doubt on God’s goodness, and Eve fell for it. In spite of all God had blessed them with, Eve began to question God’s generosity, his good will towards them. She began to suspect that he was holding back the best and that opened the door to more lies.
When God disappoints us, when things don’t turn out the way we think they should, when our prayers have not be answered, we are tempted to see God as the Father who gives his children snakes and scorpions, rather than generously giving us what we need for life and godliness. And yet, Jesus says, if we being evil, know how to give good gifts, how much more will our heavenly father give us what is good? His plans for us are good and not to harm us, to give us a hope and a future.
Lord, fill us with your truth so we can see you clearly. Help us to trust in your goodness, to know that you are for us. Help us to receive your forgiveness, for our sins are many. Open our eyes to see the gift of your Son, to understand the enormity of your sacrifice and the measure of your love.
And then help us to forgive as we have been forgiven. No matter how many times we’ve been disappointed, help us not to poison the air with suspicion and ill will. Help us be vulnerable again.
Help us love as we have been loved, so we can be an antidote to the poison in this world. Help us assume the best and see the best in those around us. Help us to give them the benefit of the doubt. Help us to encourage others to see themselves and others through your eyes. Help us find the beauty and the good, to magnify your image and glory in all your creation.