The world we live in today is a dangerous place.
There's no way of getting around that fact.
It's scary out there.
And I'm not talking about violence, natural disasters, and viral epidemics (although there is that to consider).
I'm talking about those little issues that pop up in your week that make you go hmmm...?
You ask yourself, "Should I address this person or just assume the worst about her?"
Or, "I'm sure she knows that I made a mistake and didn't mean to say or do that."
Better yet (and I've done this), "I don't need to know the whole story because I've made up my mind about her already from the few details that I've been given."
Careless thinking + Reckless assuming = Dangerous behavior
We're all guilty of this behavior.
I've even noticed this in my daughter.
Honestly, I think it's a girl problem. :)
I don't see a lot of guys out there mulling over who may or may not like them based on what they think might or might not have been said to a friend of a friend. :)
Oh, we women can be cruel.
I was taught a phrase in college from an old boyfriend. Yep. And you can take this one to the bank.
It goes like this:
"Do you know what happens when you assume?
You make an ass out of you and me." (Get it? Ass-U-Me.)
Yep, I said ass.
But, all cursing aside, isn't that silly phrase true?
When we don't confront people and ,therefore, make decisions based on our own assumptions, we are being just plain ridiculous.
We try to avoid "drama" by not addressing an issue, but all that does is cause us to have thoughts that ultimately lead to an opinion about someone that just may not be true.
It's really that simple.
It all boils down to this verse:
"What a man thinks in his heart, so is he." - Proverbs 23:7
What kind of thoughts do you entertain and where do they originate from?
The noisy next door neighbor, the one time bad experience with a co-worker, the church family that shunned you?
Is your perspective limited because you assume you know the people around you instead of taking the time to really get to know them?
Or even if you don't want to take the time to get to know them, do you choose to think the best of them until shown otherwise?
And how about our own issues?
When we let them rule our thoughts then we are even more prone to ignore instead of confront, to assume intead of ask, to keep quiet instead of speak up.
Our experiences can make us more vulnerable and open to others or they can keep us stuck and guarded.
I struggle with all of the above so don't think for one minute I'm holier than you.
I'm writing from experience here.
When we let our own pain and insecurities dictate our opinions of others then we live a limited life.
A life full of restrictions and iron fences blocking us in and keeping others out.
And who knows what might happen if we choose the hard conversation instead of judging the situation from the sidelines?
We just might make a friend....or we just might have an opportunity to minister God's love.
God wants us to live a boundless, limitless, free life!And as scary as confrontation is...or just meeting people where they are instead of judging them at first glance....as scary as that is, a safe and boring life is a lot scarier!
Don't you agree? :)