But when David’s servants arrived in Ammonite country and came to Hanun to bring condolences, the Ammonite leaders warned Hanun, “Do you for a minute suppose that David is honoring your father by sending you comforters? Don’t you know that he’s sent these men to snoop around the city and size it up so that he can capture it?” 1 Chronicles 19:2-3 (MSG)
When my daughters were entering their teen years, I told both of them that I would trust them until they did something to lose my trust. Then I warned them that they did NOT want to lose my trust. I found it interesting that both of my daughters came to appreciate and value my trust. While both girls were not without their teenager mistakes, I know that both of them came to value that trust, especially in contrast to the irrational mistrust they saw other parents placing on their friends.
Along the journey, I’ve tended to believe the best in people and their motives, and it’s served me well. I figure it’s best to treat people the way you want to be treated, and I always want people to believe the best in me. I can count precious few times in my life that a person took advantage of that trust. They were isolated cases that taught me a lot about the individual involved. They were exceptional situations and I don’t think a few exceptions justifies dismantling the golden rule.
How different Hanun’s outcome would have been if he’d simply taken David’s condolences as they were meant. Accepting David’s token of friendship could have meant abundant blessings and a meaningful alliance. Instead, Hanun found himself with a very powerful enemy.
Today, I’m choosing to believe the best in people.