Do you make assumptions? It’s easy to apprise a situation and decide if the playing field is level or not. But does it do anyone any good? At times, assessing situations can be warranted for safety or understanding where we might fit in the mix. I’m not talking about those conditions. It’s when we make conjectures on people without knowing their story.
We all have a rulebook. Whether we like it or not, agree with it or not, we have one. We probably learned the rules from our parents. Sometimes those lessons teach us how to be in the world and sometimes they are the best lessons to instruct us how NOT TO BE. We may have learned them in the organizations we associate with like: church, sports, school, etc.
Expectations are often caught not taught. Rarely are we told to be afraid of specific groups of people, yet as children we’re so perspective, we see reactions and imitate them until we know better. UNTIL WE KNOW BETTER is the key to the previous sentence. We may have been told for our safety as a five-year-old to stay away from strangers, (stranger-danger is a good rule for a 5-year-old) but it needs to be re-evaluated as a 35-year-old. Perhaps our calling is to serve ‘strangers’ and holding to the assumption that all strangers are dangerous stifles that calling.
The saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover” is never more important than it is today. There’s so much social media out there, we can research a person and twist the facts to fit our opinion. A couple of examples are: Covid vaccinations, political choices, public school verses homeschool, masks mandates, diet choices (lo fat, Keto, lo carb, intermittent fasting, vegan, vegetarian, etc.), climate control, and the list goes on. Each one of these topics is emotionally charged; at times so volatile there can’t be a conversation to learn new counter ideas.
Assumptions mean we are judging something from our perspective. The true meaning of the word assumption is: a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof. Although making assumptions is natural, the problem can be that many assumptions turn out to be wrong. Assumption misunderstandings can limit new ideas and worlds for us. Incomplete or inaccurate information combined with a lack of willingness to ask more questions or seek more understanding could create a harmful ‘story’. Our interpretation, based on our past experiences and the rules we’ve created for ourselves, may leave us wrongfully judging a person, event or that book.
Why should you care? Wrong assumptions hurt others and rob us of growth.
So how should we act?
Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another.”
What’s that mean in today’s world? ___________________________________________
What’s God say about loving ourselves?
Deuteronomy 31:6 “6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of them, for the Lord your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert you or abandon you.”
Give me life examples: _________________________________________________________________
Ephesians 2:10 says “10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
What does God think of us? ______________________________________________________
Hebrews 10:24-25 “and let’s consider how to [a]encourage one another in love and good deeds, 25 not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Name 5 ways we can encourage one another: _______________________________________
Ephesians 4:2 ‘2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love” Give me an example: ____________________________________________________________
What’s the best way to celebrate others? _____________________________________________
- Accept ourselves
- Be okay with being uncomfortable or not okay
- Accept there will be individual differences
- Accept the differences – try NOT to get others to conform
- Applaud our own mini success
- Applaud others’ successes
- Look beyond the masks
- Look for others’ talents/giftings/love languages