By Larry Ray Hafley
The Bible warns against the danger of “evil surmisings,” or “evil suspicions” (1 Tim. 6:4). In 1 Chronicles 19, Nahash, the king of Ammon, died. “And David said I will show kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me. And David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his Father.” However, certain political leaders among the Ammonites were suspicious and said to Hanun, “Do you think that David is honoring your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Have not his servants come to you to search and to over-throw and to spy out the land?”
Hanun, acting on their suspicions, mistreated and “greatly humiliated” David’s servants. As a result, a destructive war of death and destruction soon followed. It was all caused by “evil surmisings,” by “evil suspicions.”
A suspicious attitude is hard to fight. One who has such a defiled disposition can always “justify” his reasons for feeling as he does. He sees every extended, helping hand as a clenched fist. He views your smile as proof that you are laughing at him. If you give him an egg for breakfast, he thinks you are calling him “a chicken.” If you give him a peach for lunch, he thinks you are the pits. There is just no way to satisfy a negative, suspicious state of mind. Such people spread their dark thoughts to others and cause them to become wary and unsettled. They assign evil motives to even the most harmless of words and deeds. See 1 Chronicles 19 related above.
Brethren, beware of this gloomy outlook. True love is not suspicious. It “thinketh no evil” (1 Cor. 13:5). It does not assume the worst. It expects that which is good and puts the best construction on the motives and deeds of others. Love builds. Suspicion tears down. Love unites. Suspicion divides. Love trusts. Suspicion doubts. Love smiles. Suspicion glares. Love attracts. Suspicion repels. Love forgives and forgets. Suspicion remembers what never happened. Love appreciates this article and its admonition. Suspicion says, “It was aimed at me.” (For once, suspicion’s fears are confirmed. It was.)
Guardian of Truth XL: No. 16, p. 14
August 15, 1996