Think Nothing

It takes practice to think the best about every situation. I know. I’ve been practicing for years and I still haven’t mastered it, even though that’s what The Love chapter encourages us to do. (I Corinthians 13).

I was reminded of this three times in the past ten days. Here are the details in one instance. I sent an email to a new friend and I didn’t get a response. I waited several days. This was not like her. She typically responded in a timely fashion. I begin to think, I wonder if she’s offended because I contacted a woman she introduced me to and invited her to participate in a campaign. Maybe I didn’t follow protocol and she’s upset with me and this has impacted our friendship. Each day I didn’t hear from her caused my mental list to get longer and longer as to why she was ignoring my email. I sent another one, putting the “issue” on the table. I told her that I had contacted the mutual acquaintance and that I hope she was not offended by my action, especially since I did not ask her opinion about doing so. I got no response to this email either. I didn’t know what to think. One morning the situation was so heavily on my mind that I decided I needed to call my friend and put everything on the table.

I knew that the Bible says that if someone has a problem with you, it’s your job to be proactive, reach out to them, and hopefully work through it as soon as possible. The longer something festers, it escalates. I’ve had too many of these experiences and my imagination was getting more and more creative. So I called her, got her voicemail, and left a lengthy message explaining what I had been thinking the last few days as a result of her silence.

Later that day she returned my call. She told me she had been seriously ill with some kind of virus for a couple and days and this was her first day back in the office. She said she had no issue with me  at all and that it was fine that I contacted her friend. We had a great conversation. Wow, what a relief, but look at what I had conjured up in my mind. It was all negative.

One of the older women in the church I attended as a child, Mother Addie B. Johnson used to say, “Think nothing.” Think nothing until you have the facts. That’s better than thinking the worst, but it’s better to think the best until proven otherwise. It’s a daily exercise to train the mind to do that, but it can be done when we rely on God’s grace and keep practicing.


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