Have you ever made a guess about something and been totally wrong? I know I have. A couple of weeks ago I made a guess about a meeting I was going to have. I was just sure I knew what this person was going to ask and how they would react. They came by the office and I found that I was 100% incorrect. In fact, while I was talking to them I wrote a small note that simply said, “Not everything your think is right.”
Through the years I have seen people live large amounts of their life based on assumptions that they thought up.
-They didn’t speak to me because they are mad at me. (Give it long enough and I will decide that they must hate me.)
-I know they will be mad if I ask them that.
-That person posted that on Facebook purposely trying to hurt me.
-I know my boss doesn’t like me because of the way he looks at me and his tone of voice.
-The people at Church don’t really care about me. In fact, no one will care if I quit attending.
And on and on it goes. We make decisions about other people, their emotions, feelings and attitudes without ever getting the facts. Unfortunately, most of the time we are completely wrong in our conclusions.
So a couple things to keep in mind –
- Reject gossip. Don’t slander. Don’t listen or speak evil of people.
- Get the truth when possible. In the Bible everything had to be established on 2 or 3 witnesses. That is a great practice to establish.
- Talk to the person directly. Then believe what they say.
- Try to avoid projection. It is easy to project our feelings onto other people. “I was hurt so you must have meant to hurt me” does not always logically follow.
- Be slow to speak and quick to listen. (James 1:19)
Ask yourself. How many emotions have I attached to my own thoughts about something? Not facts or conversations, but the thoughts that exist only in my head. Just because you think that person hates you or loves you does not mean they do.
What if today you set out to seek the truth instead of following your own thoughts? Would you ever be willing to admit that some of the things you think are wrong?
It is hard to do, but it usually very healthy.