One of my biggest struggles in life has been jumping to conclusions about people. Assuming their intent. Worrying about some kind of hidden agenda. I was super cynical. What’s almost worse is assuming that other people are making assumptions about me, then becoming worried that they think I’m up to something suspicious.
What a nightmare to be trapped in a mind bound by assumptions. This is something I thought I was over, but I was recently shown that I’m not. Today I took my kids out for a treat. They got slushies and I got a milkshake. There was a hair in my shake. Then I saw two. I immediately jumped to worse-case scenario and thought it was on purpose. Why did I do that?
I called to speak to the manager. He explained that it was his hair. He said he had a “fro” and he had to jump in and help. He was so embarrassed and apologetic. I kind of felt bad for the guy. Good thing I at least kept my cool! I did say that I wondered if someone did it on purpose. I felt so bad for saying that.
In the end we both kind of laughed it off, and I suggested he wear a hair net or something so he didn’t get anymore complaints.
After, I wasn’t even mad about the hair in my shake. I felt bad for assuming the worst and thinking that someone had tampered with it on purpose.
Life experiences cause us to make assumptions. When people betray us we then expect betrayal. When someone flatters or otherwise deceive us, we become suspicious of others, even if they mean well. When we see people manipulate others, or have been manipulated, we fear someone getting the best of us. Or, when we hear a lot of stories about people tampering with fast food, we think we’ve been purposefully tampered with.
This can go the other way too, like I mentioned previously. We can worry that other people are making assumptions about us, then we second guess everything we do and go to great lengths to explain our actions. It’s mentally exhausting.
I wonder though, for a Christian, what is the solution to being freed from making assumptions? For me, the only thing I know to do is to live righteously and let my actions speak for me, then trust in Jesus for the rest. Hopefully people will get to know me well enough that they do not make assumptions about me in a negative way. However, if I make assumptions that people are making assumptions, then how will anyone get to know me? I’d be too scared of their possible assumptions. Add being worried about their intent, and then there’s a compounded problem. That’s the mind I was trapped in when bound to social anxiety. I’m not going back to that!
On top of doing what is right so our own conscience is clear, I think we need to have faith in the Lord. We should try to avoid making assumptions about the intents (or assumptions) of others. The first step is being aware of when we are jumping to conclusions then practicing “taking thoughts captive.” If we never take a chance on people, we never get close to anyone. If we expect people to behave perfectly, we will be disappointed. We should look to Jesus instead, because his intent is always pure and for our good, and he never makes assumptions! He is Truth, and he always does and knows what is true!
Well, I got to go. Dinner time. I don’t know if I have much appetite though! 🙂