As Hannah kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” – 1 Samuel 1:12-17
Dear heavenly Father,
I see myself in Eli’s mistake here. I often mistake the motives of others because I cannot see into their hearts. Hannah was earnest in prayer with a broken heart and he accused her of being drunk. Rescue me and those I live around from my penchant to judge according to appearances with my own filters and preconceived notions. Make me a humble observer and active listener that gives everyone the benefit of the doubt and assumes the best and not the worst about them. And when I actually see their real failures, give me the love and truth to restore them not to criticize them. I want to see the best and bring out the best in others.
Pastor Don Patterson
Truth be told, what we see in others largely depends on what spiritual and psychological glasses we are wearing ourselves.