Love … always trusts…
—1 Corinthians 13:6-7
In the American South they have a proverb: “If you call a dog a bad name, he’ll live up to it.” It’s probably true that if you call a dog a good name, he’ll live up to that too.
I think this proverb can also be applied to people. It’s amazing that with people you often get what you expect.
During an experiment several years ago all the brown-eyed students in a class were asked to sit in the front and all the blue-eyed students were asked to sit in the back. The teacher told the brown-eyed ones, “Brown-eyed children are more intelligent than blue-eyed.” The teacher kept this up for a week and found that the brown-eyed students did better in their homework. They got better grades. They were better behaved in class. The blue-eyed kids began to decline.
The following week the teacher came to class and said, “I’ve made a terrible mistake. The research shows it was the blue-eyed kids that are better.” She moved them to the front of the class, telling them they were more intelligent, and soon their scores soared.
Thankfully such experiments are no longer allowed. But they remind us that love is willing to trust, to give people the benefit of the doubt.
Jesus is willing to call us friends, trusting us to “go and bear … fruit that will last,” showing his love everywhere. Are we with him?
Lord, thank you for loving us even when we disappoint people, ourselves, and you. Make us ever new, in your name. Amen.
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