I have been evaluating myself on something that I’d like to suggest you consider…
What we believe about others and what we expect them to do is a very strong indicator of who we are. For example, if we won’t trust others… we probably aren’t untrustworthy. If we believe what people say… we are probably honest people. If we think people have ulterior motives… that probably means we operate with ulterior motives. If we try to do what is right, we be live others try to do what is right. I get this idea from Titus 1:15 where it is written, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.”
Pure people think purely. Defiled people can only think in a defiled manner. Pure people see the positive and good. Defiled people are critics and distrusting. Pure people act, speak, and believe about others pure motivations. Yet defiled people are whisperers, manipulators, underhanded, and they believe everyone else is just like them. Both are surprised when people don’t do what they expect.
The last phrase really nailed me, “But both their minds and their consciences are defiled.” That means that those who are defiled are incapable of realizing their error. They believe what they do is right. They cannot grasp that their conduct, words, and/or actions are evil. God deliver us! Jeremiah 17:9!!
So here’s a test… What is our default belief about others? What do we think other people’s motivations are for what they do? Do we think they are working the system… or playing by the rules. Whichever we think is probably a strong indicator of what kind of people we are.
Question: Given Titus 1:15, what motives do we assign to other people… pure or defiled?