Assumptions- we all make them. In a given situation, we take what we know, what see and hear, and draw a conclusion from that information. What’s more, we then base our perspective and actions on these assumptions we’ve just made. It’s a perfectly natural process, and it works well to help us fill in the blanks and figure out stuff- kind of like solving for x in algebra. It’s a great thing- until we try it out on people.
It becomes easy to make an assumption- we think we know why someone did what they did, or said what they said. We sometimes forget we weren’t blessed with the gift to read minds or interpret motives. For instance, what if you were watching kids romping wildly in a mall food court while their dad did nothing to discipline them? It would be easy to make the assumption that the kids were brats and the dad was a wimp- until, after talking with the dad, you learned they had just left the hospital room where the kids’ mom had just died. Oh.
Sometimes we need to be reminded we’re not God, because it’s easy to go there, and I know I don’t need much help getting there on my own. Perhaps there are people close to you that you need to cut a little more slack. Give people around you the benefit of the doubt. Think of it as a gift of love. You’ll probably want a gift like that yourself sometime soon from folks around you.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.