I’ve been thinking about the power of assumptions lately.
The dictionary says an assumption is a thing that is taken to be true, without proof. Here are a couple of thoughts I’m kicking around:
1. Assumptions are often (though not always) formed from laziness. We know there’s another side to the story, but we like the one we’re hearing. It would take too much work to dig up all the facts. It’s so much easier just to jump to a conclusion, to skip all the necessary steps that would eventually deliver real discernment. So we rush to fill in the blank at the end of the equation. No one can actually see all the missing math, we think, so “that’s my final answer.”
2. Assumptions create a kind of self imposed blindness because we have chosen what to see and what not to see. You might be a great person, but I’ve jumped to conclusions about you and created a lens that says “moron,” so that whenever I see you, I’m looking through that lens and only tend to accumulate proof for my assumption instead of actually trying to see you as you really are.
3. Assumptions are boxes. They’re lazy conclusions that enable us to at least think we’re justified categorizing things the way we do. Stereotypes are bad for this. I put people into boxes all the time. As it turns out, I hate it when people put me in one, but seem to think it’s okay if I do it to them. Dumb.
I’ll be the first to admit that I jump to false conclusions all the time. I’m often no good at the discernment thing. “I judge only as I hear,” Jesus said — and he meant hearing from his father. I wish I was more like that.
Like tonight. I was praying with Noah, our 12 year old, and suddenly felt saddened that here he was, growing up without a kingdom mindset and what was I doing as a parent but dropping the ball because he seems to walk through his day without a kingdom clue.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Turns out, my assumption wasn’t just off, it was off it’s rocker. He’s been reading his Bible at school. Praying often. Being persecuted for his faith. Sharing spiritual tidbits with friends. And I’m a tool.
You have any thoughts on assumptions?