by Rick Warren — October 18, 2023
From 40 Days of Love
“Love . . . always looks for the best.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 (MSG)
When you have high expectations of someone, you don’t tell it like it is. You tell it like it could be. What does that mean? It’s means you believe in what God wants to do in and through that person, and you affirm God’s purpose for them.
An excellent example of how this works is a story from Bruce Wilkinson, an author and teacher. Years ago, he was a new professor at Multnomah University, and at the first faculty meeting, he received his class assignments. Another professor saw his sheet and said, “Bruce, you’ve been given two of the section A classes. They’re the brightest students in the university. They’re really engaged and a joy to teach. You’re fortunate to have section A students in your first year.”
Bruce discovered that to be true—he absolutely loved teaching those kids. They were so much more fun to teach than the other classes. They were smarter and asked better questions.
At the end of the year, Bruce told his department supervisor, “Man, I sure hope I get the section A classes again next year!” The supervisor told him, “Bruce, there is no section A. We canceled that program six years ago.”
When Bruce went back and checked his grade books, he found that those “section A” classes may not have been advanced placement, but they received higher grades and wrote more thoughtful term papers than his other classes. Bruce realized—because he expected them to be better students—they rose to the challenge.
Throughout your life, you will shape the people around you by your expectations of them. When you expect the best from others, you are reflecting the lasting love of Jesus.
The Bible says that love does not nag or perpetually bring up past mistakes. The apostle Paul said it this way: “Love . . . always looks for the best” (1 Corinthians 13:7 MSG). Lasting love is forward-looking. It’s optimistic.
Lasting love is full of hope.