Scripture: He who seeks good finds good will,
but evil comes to him who searches for it.
The Bible tells the story of a very wealthy man whose meanness almost got him and his whole family killed, and the heroine who saved his neck. The man, Nabal, owned thousands of goats and sheep. One day during the sheep-shearing festival, he received a note from king-to-be David, whose men had protected Nabal's shepherds and sheep that year. David and his men asked for a share in the festivities. Nabal, however, shared nothing but insult after insult. "Who is this guy David? Why should I take my food and give it to men from who knows where?" When David heard the response back at camp, he and his men put on their swords and set out for revenge.
Abigail, Nabal's wife, heard about what happened and immediately took action, fearing imminent disaster. Taking donkeys laden with provisions for David's men, she headed for David's camp. She encountered them as they were coming to attack Nabal. Abigail pleaded with David to avoid needless bloodshed and the avenging of himself. David listened to her, and returned to camp. "If you had not come quickly to meet me, " he told her, "not one male belonging to Nabal would have been alive by daybreak."
When Abigail told her husband about the averted disaster the next morning (he had been too drunk the night before), his heart failed; he died soon afterward. (I Samuel 25)
Faced with an uncertain situation, Nabal chose to continue in his ignorance and act with suspicion, rather than seeking out the truth of the matter. He approached the situation by thinking the worst of people. On the other hand, Abigail chose to listen to what her servant told her, and sought to make peace.
My personal experience has been that when I respond to a person or uncertain situation with suspicion, the outcome is usually negative. When, however, I respond by seeking the best in the other person, I end up finding admirable traits and making a positive connection.
Don't we all want to be seen in the best possible light? By giving the other person the benefit of the doubt, even if they have done something that has offended us or scared us off in the past, we extend grace and find good will instead.