Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Dangers of Assumptions

Assumptions usually get us into trouble. Many of us understand the pitfalls of assuming all too well. We hear part of a conversation and our insecure little minds assume it is about us. We witness an altercation in the grocery store between a parent and child and assume the parent is short-tempered. We tune in and out of the pastor’s sermon and then brood over something we assume he meant, when that wasn’t his point at all.

In my own life, the results of making assumptions have run the gamut from mild embarrassment to neglect of an important task. Recently we were visiting at my mom’s and had taken our cat, Watson along. At one point we were all outside, including the cat. Dick decided to go back indoors.

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Mom and I were chatting about her flowers and watching my great-niece play in the grass. The recycling truck lumbered down the front street and suddenly Watson came flying around the house. I assumed Dick had taken him indoors with him. Dick assumed we were keeping an eye on Watson. Turned out, Watson was wondering off in an unfamiliar neighborhood!

Other times, my assumptions had more serious consequences. Assuming a teen would be a good babysitter simply because she attended our church, showed poor judgment on my part. I found out later that she not only didn’t change our son’s dirty diapers during the four hours we were gone, but enjoyed half a bottle of wine while supposedly being “on the job”. We found her sound asleep when we got home! Next time, I never made that kind of assumption again; I made sure I asked other parents whom they recommended for a sitter.

The Bible shares many stories of God’s followers ending up in trouble because they assumed. Sarah assumed she was too old to bear a son and encouraged her husband to have a child with her handmaiden; The Hebrews assumed God had forgotten them and Moses wasn’t coming back to lead them when they built the golden calf; the people of Jesus’ day rejected him because they assumed their Messiah would overthrow the Roman government.

God’s Word offers lots of good advice about assumptions:
·       “Don’t assume that you know it all.” Proverbs 3:7
·       “Don't jump to conclusions - there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.” Proverbs 25:8
·       “Don't shoot off your mouth, or speak before you think.” Proverbs 29:20
·       “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19

It’s easy to fall prey to our assumptions, but next time we are tempted to jump to conclusions, let’s remember Proverbs 3:5:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Never rely on what you think you know.

Blessings!
Pam

©2016 Pamela D. Williams