Sheryl Boldt

Practice believing the best of others

“Peter wants a divorce,” my friend Stacey said, taking quick breaths.

 It pained me to see her struggling to keep from falling completely apart. “I’m so sorry.”

When our eyes met, her mascara was long gone. “It hurts, Sheryl. And what makes it worse is knowing some people will believe Peter when he says I’m the one at fault. I can’t handle this.”

Her words pierced my heart as I imagined the added anguish she’d suffer from those who didn’t know the whole truth.

How often do we find ourselves the object of false judgment? On the flip side, how often are we the ones telling lies about someone?

These questions remind me of the second part of 1 Corinthians 13:7 (ESV): “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition, expands “believes all things” this way: “[Love] is ever ready to believe the best of every person.”

How can we practice believing in and seeing the best of someone, especially when the conversation turns against them?

First, we can decide beforehand not to start or listen to rumors. Second, when a conversation heads in the wrong direction, we can redirect it by saying something like, “Oh, I hope that’s not true. But just in case, I’ll put (name of person) on my prayer list.” This is better than remaining silent because sometimes our silence implies our agreement.

What about believing the best of those we see every day? If our husband makes a costly investment mistake, do we lose faith in him, or do we continue to believe in his ability to succeed? If a friend constantly shows up late, do we focus on that one (albeit irritating) flaw, or will we ask God to help us recall (and believe in) their good qualities?

Refusing to listen to rumors or form negative opinions about others takes effort. But when we choose to believe the best of someone – and help others do the same while faithfully praying for them – we can prevent that person from falling into a depth of despair that could lead to devastating consequences.

Knowing somebody still believes in them (and that they’re worth defending) could give a person the hope and dignity they need to persevere. 

Sheryl H. Boldt, a Franklin County resident, is the author of the blog, Connect with her at

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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