DISCERNING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASS AND ASSUMPTION (NEIGHBORLY ADVICE)
The religious community use the word "Assumption" as describing taking someone to heaven. Although beautiful this is not what I will be writing about today. We all are familiar with the phrase "When you assume you make an ass of yourself," well this has become common place for the world we live in today. Many have it bad to take one word a person is expressing and assume what they are about to say, before they can actually finish saying it. Noted, many of us only do this when we are involved in a heated debate. Now before I get into this subject let me be clear, I am speaking about the mentality of jackasses the dumb, stubborn animal not the other. I can name two issues where jackass comes to mind and they are "Religion and Politics."
On one side you have the right and on the other side the wrong. You have the likes and dislikes, the believers and non believers. Many on the so called right side condemn those on the left. In my opinion there is no right or wrong way when it comes matters of the heart. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Who and what you love or believe is very personal. It would be nice if many would fall in line and just support our beliefs; but, I would prefer they just "respect" my decisions and the path I have chosen to follow. Afterall, it's my life! I will follow my path and deal with the circumstances or repercussions when they arise. Whether we believe in God or not, we all will face our day of judgment. For many it will come on their death beds, this is where, we all will experience the right and wrong of our own decisions. Many of us will die instantly and be spared this or will we? Again this is where our beliefs reside.
Many say the Bible is filled with lies, I see truths. If for nothing else the Bible makes me think in a positive manner. It makes me reflect on my bad decisions and it makes me want to become a better person. Therefore, I shall. This is a moment by moment process. Although the Bible tells me to look neither to my left nor to my right while on my path, I find being human this can sometimes be difficult. Case and point: on yesterday, my friend posted something on Facebook and I without asking assumed they where saying something else. We spent yesterday going back and forth. Now what I assumed was totally out of character for my friend; but, the jackass in me wanted to be right. During the course of day, I thought about my position and called my friend and apologized. He apologized to me as well and we laughed about it. He asked me to pray for him while I was at church.
I was convinced I was right; but, through reading and evaluating during Bible study, I realized I was wrong. Had I kept to my own understanding of the situation, I would have lost a very good and kind friend. Something more powerful than myself propelled me to do the right thing even though it was an admittance of being wrong. We all bare the mentality of an jackass and it stems from our beliefs. Although it's not entirely our beliefs that will condemn us to becoming bitter and void beings; but, it is our conviction of our self righteousness in those beliefs. What brought me down a peg or two is when I had to come face to face with humanity. I looked at our cruelty, violent natures and discernment of judgement; then I evaluated "Love." I came to the conclusion there has to be a God because we as humans cannot possibly evoke this emotion without Him. Love is God! I believe in love therefore I believe in God. Discernment/Judgement, of the spirit is a gift within these critical times that we all must live, especially during times of conflict. "Life Happens" we cannot stop it; but many of us learn from it and it is in life our belief systems are born.
When we mainly experience negative things in our lives, we tend to be drawn to be anything or anyone negative. Being exposed to negativity on a daily basis will cause loss of hope. As of matter of fact negativity thrives on hopelessness. If you find an hopeful person who confides in a negative friend/family, the negativity of that friend/family will do everything to undermind the hope in the hopeful person. Simply because their hope was vanquished by negativity, they will do what has been done to them and vanquish the hope in anyone else. Negativity is the breeding ground for conflict and debate. The Bible states in (Proverbs 25:9 KJV), Debate thy cause with thy neighbor himself, and discover not a secret to another. Translation: If you argue your case with a neighbor (near or far), do not betray another's man trust. This happens alot in our personal relationships, before you became foes you once were friends and family. You knew one another secrets. Once the battle lines are drawn many take those secrets to others as to undermind the other person. This is when it would come under good advisement to try and settle matters between the two of you and not take it to others, as well, as not to break one anothers confidence. This will only earn the reputation of being untrustworthy.
Whether we desire intimate relationships or not, we find that inevitably we have to relate to others in various venues. In light of the fact, people need principles by which to conduct their relationships in society. This is where the Discernment of Judgement will be the gift that keeps on giving. The Proverbs of Solomon, will be an great source to find these principles. You will learn how to develop good and equitable relationships. Our relationships will become rewarding personally and benefit society as a whole. Many view the cross as an symbol of the method of death for Christ. I have learned to view the symbolism as relevant to the society in to which we all live. One of the greatest examples of relationships can be found in the vertical and horizontal shape of the Cross. The verticalness impacts my relationship with God, which is first and foremost in my life and the horizontalness impacts my relationships with other people. When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment. He responded by saying: "Thou shalt love thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:37 KJV) However He also said in verse 39, second is, "To love thy neighbor as thyself."
Whether one is an believer or non believer this helps one to cultivate proper relationships in society and with other people. In context Proverbs 25-26 are proverbs that address relationships with others....specifically with kings or those of authority, with our neighbors, with our enemies and with ourselves. Verses 1-8a, refer to relationships with kings or those in authority; verses 8b-20 are with our neighbors; verses 21-24 are with our enemies, and verses 25-26 are with ourselves. In this section of the book of Proverbs, biblical scholars summize that Solomon arranged an editorial committee that was set up by King Hezekiah, King of Judah. As we see in verse 1, they were copied by the men of the committee set up by King Hezekiah. It is important to note that in the book of Proverbs the writer attempted to convey the concept that " there is a tremendous difference between the wise person and a fool." A person who displays good judgement and a person with the mentality of an jackass. Dumb/ignorant and stubborn. The wise person will learn from another wise person; while the jackass mentality will learn from those who are not wise. Do not be discouraged because knowledge can also come from an jackass/fool and that is a fool can teach us what not to do. In other words, we can take the little knowledge of an jackass/fool and turn it into wisdom. As children we are attracted to fire until we become foolish and stick our hands in thus fire. Once finding out the fire will burn and it is painful we learn not to play with fire.
My grandchildren wanted me watch a movie called "JackAss", with them; I could not believe the things they were doing in this movie. Everything they did would either harm, scar, or could possibly cause death. From their own understanding and to defy logic and gravity these people would do the dumbest things to prove they could do it. They proved they could do it; but, also harmed themselves while doing it. My grandchildren were speechless from laughter. I was in shock. In theory we all do this with our judgements. We go for the open road as opposed to taking the road least traveled, meaning we would prefer an audience to express our complaints with another person. In other words we need an audience to validate our argument. We need to be right. It's an compulsion in human nature to be better than others. Proverbs 25:9 (KJV), admonishes us to first deal with any disagreements or arguments one-on-one and not to divulge it to anyone outside of the two parties. It is actually related to what Jesus says in Matthew 18, that if you have aught against your brother, you should go to him one-on-one first, and then if it can not be resolved you then bring the matter before the entire church body (Matthew 18:15-20 KJV). This is showing us the way to deal with issues that anger us within or outside the church. The book of Proverbs provides us with insights regarding the practicalities of life for believers as well as non believers. We will develop an insight that is beyond the human capacity. It is clearly from something more divine than ourselves. It is love for our fellow man.
Many felt the blight of "Troy Davis" sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer in Georgia. First many took to the phones,computers and God to relay their opposition to all officials officiating over this man's death sentence and what many saw as an corrupt Judicial System. I have no say in whether this man was guilty or not, like everyone, I was limited by my knowledge, presence of credible witnesses and power. Like most officials presiding over any large group of people the Georgia Board of Pardons felt it had heard and examined all they needed to put this man to death. We as people must first look at this, did they make the extra efforts to search for the truth or were they prejudiced by their own belief system? It's a tremendous difference to look below when one is seated so high. Looking from high to low we must make extra efforts to search the intents and purposes of people and matters in order to properly conduct the affairs of an kingdom/nation. Were they discerned in their judgement? Time may or may not tell, otherwise, we all are just guessing and making our own judgements. In the Bible I found, It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out an matter. 3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the hearts of kings is unsearchable. 4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. 5 Take away the wicked from before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness. 6 Put forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great men: 7 For better is that it be said unto thee, come up hither; that that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. In the matter of "Troy Davis" the Georgia Board Of Pardons was the king. Through their understanding they acted to remove the wicked from this earth. This is a matter that has been concealed by God and only He will reveal it in it's due season. Many are screaming the execution was race related. How can we say this; for only those matters lie in the hearts of the men and women of the Georgia Board of Pardons? Just as the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so are the hearts of kings are unsearchable.
We all could learn an valuable lesson for the Presidential Election Campaign of 2012. The proverbs are political precepts that Hezekiah and other princes used in the conducting of the affairs of their kingdom. We all should be encouraged to seek out the truth and investigate matters for ourselves and not assign ourselves to any specific party. In a leader we should want someone who will lead His people with honor and grace. Someone to which will seek out matters, thoughts and purposes so they can make wise decisions. Someone who knows the "need" to take extra efforts to search the intents and purposes of people and matters in order to properly conduct the affairs of this country. Right or wrong, like or dislike, voted for or against, we should respect our leader. An country divided is an country that will not stand. Right now we are coming to the crossroads. After the election will we stand united or will we fall? These past 4 years we have disgraced ourselves in the eyes of other countries simply because we show no respect for the now seated President. This is the election that will show our vulnerability from fighting within.
I find it hard to believe so many have risen in opposition simply because President Obama is black. It's not that cut and dry. This is not about Black and White. This is "Misinformation." When we hear something that disturbs us, it is important that we don't react with uncontrolled or unfair emotions towards Obama and any other Candidate for President. This time let us all seek out the truth and investigate the full matter before responding, reacting in anger or in disgust. For instance a few weeks ago simply because she is a Presidential hopeful, allegations about Sarah Palin surfaced. This was not only wrong but downright distasteful. What about this woman's family? This is what the Bible means about betraying someones confidence; exposing their secrets. If this was to be found true; it does not mean we ignore the wrong done; but it means that we are to act with caution after gathering all the facts. We must be slow to anger (Proverbs 15:18 KJV), because the persons who are quick to anger act foolishly. (Proverbs 14:7) Something we have all witnessed and played a part in since 2008.We have taken this President to the court of the people. We acted hastely and we have disrespected not only him; but ourselves. Therefore, we should avoid anger, forsake wrath, and not fret (Psalm 37:8).
Please do not respond with hatred because I am simply expressing my opinion from the Word Of God. I like many of you have been angered by President Obama; but I have been also been angered by other Presidents. Obama, is nothing special, he's just a man; but he is the man that was elected to lead our country and I chose to respect his position. This doesn't mean, I agree with him; but it means I respect the position of leadership the people appointed him to. I chose to deal privately with my matters of contention with him. It is my quest to live peacefully with all men and women. The Bible is teaching me that contention (matters of issues) should be addressed in the smallest of settings. If you cannot meet that person face to face, then write out your concerns and complaints and mail them to the specific person to which you are angry before it is enlarged by circumstances or other people and it drums up heightened emotion. It simply comes down to being a jackass or an wise man or woman. Let's hinder the ass in assumption and become as one as much as possible. God Bless.
Prayer: Father, we know love covers a multitude of sins, and so we pray now not only for the forgiveness of our sins but that You would help us to forgive others as You have forgiven us. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.