Sometimes it is difficult to believe in yourself because you know every thought, every action or inaction, every disappointment and failure you have ever had and each of them carries a certain weight, especially if you allow them to accumulate.
But I have always found that when others believed the best of me that it has helped inspire me to overcome my own self judgments and doubts and at least want to be better.
Jesus saw in others what everyone else did, but the beauty of Jesus is that he could also see beyond the mess to the majesty. He didn’t allow others to make excuses or settle for lesser versions than what they were made for. In essence, when he encountered people at their worst, he would look into their eyes, speak into their souls and tell them:
“You’re better than that!”
And I think it might do us all well in this coming year to learn from him and look beyond the sin of others to the sublime and speak into one another’s lives in such a way that it inspires hope.
So, perhaps the next time you hear people gossiping about others or slandering them in some way, rather than participating in the conversation or making self righteous judgments of your own, you could look at them and simply say:
“You’re better than that”
Or maybe the next time you see anger and vitriol and seeds of division being sown among your family members or friends or splattered across social media, rather than fight fire with fire, you can choose to sow peace and simply say:
“You’re better than that.”
Whenever and wherever we see others giving into fear, compromising themselves with any assortment of addictions, or simply settling for a compromised lesser version of themselves, lets make it our aim to look real hard and see one another’s humanity and speak into it in a way that inspires.
But maybe before we speak those words to others we can speak them to ourselves? Maybe the first place to practice is with our own self talk? Because once we believe that we are better than what we have been settling for it will give us the eyes to see that others can do the same.
And maybe just maybe the darkness will begin to recede a little bit and the Kingdom Jesus came to give us will draw a little closer to us.