"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
The assumption battle is one I have fought most of my life. I've questioned friends' motives, assuming they were against me. To avoid being hurt, I've detached from relationships with no valid reasons.
Perhaps you've fought the same battle?
Your friend didn't sit with you in Bible study like she usually does; she must be upset with you, so you avoid her at your weekly meetings. Another friend is invited to several parties you aren't; obviously the two of you are drifting apart, so you don't reach out any more. Your sister hasn't responded to your text and phone messages; she must have found another friend in whom to confide, so you stop calling her.
It's easy to assume others are upset, have "more important" friends, or are too busy for us when their behavior changes. Anger and hurt can well up in our hearts and we may pull away from friendships in order to protect ourselves. There is a danger in assumptions: they can destroy relationships.
Before we know it, even without proof, what we assume becomes our truth. Our misguided feelings lead to misguided thoughts, which cause misguided responses. The result: ruined relationships.
Living under the havoc of assumptions isn't the way God intended it though. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (NKJV). Looking at the last part of this verse, we see God gives us the ability to think, reason, and understand.
Through Christ, we have a mind that is well balanced and considers things in context. Our sound mind is stronger than our feelings, but we have to give our thoughts time to catch up with our emotions. A good way to do this is to pause and think clearly about the conclusions we've made.
When an assumption rears its ugly head, simply take a moment to ask if this assumption is consistent with your friend's normal behavior. If it isn't, this would be a good time to ask a few more questions: Is my friend okay? Have I done anything to hurt her? How can I pray for her? Do I believe the best before assuming the worst?
Repeat the pause until the assumption passes. The result: positive relationships.
Ruined relationships can be prevented and assumptions can be put to rest when we stop and focus on our thoughts. God has blessed us with a sound mind to surrender to the truth and not allow our imaginations to run wild.
Before the power of assumptions ruins a relationship in your life, pause. Settle your emotions and consider what you know to be true about your friend. Take a moment to pray for her and plan how to reach out to her. She might just be struggling with her own assumptions that you could help her clear up!
Dear Lord, thank You for empowering me to overpower assumptions. I commit to believe the best before assuming the worst, and to not allow my emotions to jump to conclusions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond: What power have assumptions had on your life?
Reach out and make an attempt to reconcile with someone with whom you made an assumption.
Power Verses: 2 Corinthians 10:5, "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (NIV)
Philippians 2:4, "Don't be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others." (GW)
© 2013 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org