ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT. Decide to trust that other members are being fair, honest, and concerned for the well-being of our church.  Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions.  Surrender the urge to criticize and judge—it doesn’t help.  Graciously give people the benefit of the doubt.
a Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8)
b Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. (Matthew 7:1)
c Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Ideas for Action: Take a “criticism inventory.” Just how critical are you, really? Ask someone you love and trust to tell you how you’re doing in this area. Try a 24-hour fast from all forms of criticism. No complaining or criticism for an entire day.


Daily Devotionals


Proverbs 31:11

THINK: In describing a wife of noble character, Proverbs declares that the husband trusts her. No matter how wonderful your spouse’s character, if you are distrustful of them, their goodness cannot shine through. It is the same in the church community. When you don’t Assume Positive Intent, you paint many good actions with paranoia.
PRAY: that the Spirit would show you tend to distrust.


Titus 3:2

THINK: We are told not to speak evil of one another, but your words come from your thoughts. Do not merely control your words, but steer your thoughts about one another. Why assume that a fellow believer plans evil for you? Instead, Assume Positive Intent and choose to avoid evil thoughts about each other.
PRAY: that God would remove your tendencies to distrust.


Galatians 5:15

THINK: It is natural to protect yourself and natural to distrust. We have all been burned before. Some have been hurt so deeply that trust is near impossible to give out. But the church is destroyed when trust is lacking. We bite and devour one another seeking ulterior motives for words and actions. When you Assume Positive Intent you might get hurt sometimes, but the alternative is worse.
PRAY: for wisdom in learning to trust when it’s hard.


THINK: Trust can only exist longterm with forgiveness. We don’t Assume Positive Intent because the church is filled with perfect people who will never harm you. We Assume Positive Intent because the church is made of people who are forgiven. Our love for one another will cover over a multitude of sins. Love overcomes past, present, and future sins allowing us to trust despite being wronged.
PRAY: that God would help you forgive.


THINK: Often the least trusting are the least trustworthy. We can assume the worst, because we know our sinful and prideful inclinations and project them on others. It may not be you, but maybe you struggle to Assume Positive Intent because you struggle to speak honestly and truthfully.
PRAY: that the Spirit would be the Spirit of truth in your life.


1 Corinthians 13:7

THINK: “Love hopes all things.” We can’t say that enough. The Christian life is built on hope: hope for Christ’s return, hope in the world’s renewal, hope in our resurrection, hope in our perfection and union with God. We quite literally live in and by hope. Our love for one another “hopes all things.” Assume Positive Intent because we live in hope of perfection together.
PRAY: that God would realize the hope of a perfected community here at FPC more and more.

Devotional Guides

SERIES ONE  Printable copy of Way #5 Devotionals (Small Group Guide)
SERIES TWO Printable copy of Way #5 Devotionals (Series Two)