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The Problem With Assumptions
Let Your Speech Be Seasoned With Grace
Most of us start out life with a positive outlook.
But, then, because of events that happen in our lives, we begin to view the world more negatively. We trust a group of people, who then betray us, or turn their backs on us when we are in need. Perhaps, a coworker we viewed as a friend repeats something we said to a supervisor, causing conflict with our supervisor.
Or, we become involved with someone who is not open and honest with us. Perhaps, they take things from us, or lie about what they are doing in their spare time, or just keep secrets from us. Then, to cover their own actions, they begin to manipulate us by telling us that other people might be taking our belongings, or we are misplacing them.
Eventually, we begin to analyze every situation, always looking for the ulterior motive. In other words, we stop trusting people. We begin to make assumptions, and in effect, judge people based on our past experiences. Voicing these concerns then causes conflict. What is the remedy for this situation?
First of all, stop assuming that you know what people's intentions are. If you need to know why someone has said or done something, just ask--but, never ask in an accusing manner. Perhaps that person will tell you that you don't need to know. If that is the case, then don't stew and worry about what is going to happen next. Put your faith in God that whatever happens, He will take care of you. Here are some verses that might help in overcoming making assumptions.
God speaks through Samuel about presumption in 1 Samuel 15:23: For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”
Matthew 11:28 states, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Romans 14:1-13 states: So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another." (Romans 14:1-13)
This is not to say that we can't have an opinion or discernment as to what is right and wrong. It simply means that we are not to place ourselves on a pedestal above those who are not living a Christian life.
Colossions 4:2-6 states Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary provides an excellent summary of what these verses mean:
Believers are exhorted to right conduct towards unbelievers. Be careful in all converse with them, to do them good, and recommend religion by all fit means. Diligence in redeeming time, commends religion to the good opinion of others. Even what is only carelessness may cause a lasting prejudice against the truth. Let all discourse be discreet and seasonable, as becomes Christians. Though it be not always of grace, it must always be with grace. Though our discourse be of that which is common, yet it must be in a Christian manner. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse, and keeps it from corrupting. It is not enough to answer what is asked, unless we answer aright also.
I leave you with this reminder from Phillipians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Free your mind of negative thinking, and replace it with positive thinking. This will require prayer, meditation, study, and interaction with other believers. Heed the warning of Jesus in Matthew 12:45 concerning the man who swept his house clean of evil spirits, but did not replace the evil thoughts (spirits) with positive thoughts (spirits). A vacuum is just begging to be filled.
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation