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08/03/2013

Say What?


Steven has taught me many things in our years together. How to argue really loudly, the value of procrastination, how to laugh more, how not to take myself so seriously, how to play D&D, (yeah, I said that) I could go on. He's pretty good at theology too. I've learned a ton from his studying, which is really the way to go, in case you're wondering. Have someone else study stuff and then they can teach it to you. ;) One of the things that he's always saying is in reference to us talking about a situation others are going through. I have this habit of deciding that I know what someone elses intentions are. For example they will have said something and I interpret it in some kind of negative way. I'm not gonna lie, I'm usually right. (snicker) He'll say, "That's not really putting the best construction on it." And of course, I'm like, what a party pooper you are! In all fairness, I've heard him stop what he was saying and say, well, "I'm not putting the best construction on that."  

It comes from Luther's Small Catechism. Luther states in his explanation of the 8th commandment:
(Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor) we “should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.”

This is pretty dadgum good advice. It also takes not bearing false witness against your neighbor up a notch. It's a little bit harder to put a good construction on something your neighbor said or did than is to simply not lie about them.

(Does anyone else mentally picture a neighbor as someone who lives next door? No? Just me? I can't help it, my mind takes it very literally)

Anyway, it's just bouncing around in my head lately. After much thought I've decided that this is pretty much the same thing as "attitude is everything" which was my high school band motto. Seriously, it was. Our practice tshirts said that on the back. Your attitude about people and situations often determines what you do about them. If you think supportively and positively about people and situations, you act accordingly.