Sometimes my assumptions get the best of me.
My mind feeds me constant information. Some of it is true. Some of it is as far from the truth as a lie can land. My thoughts offer suggestions about the friend who never replied to the text, hinting at the idea that I must have said or done something wrong. Or about the family member who doesn’t come around anymore, suggesting that I must not be worth sticking around for. Then there is the job I was qualified for. Yet I never got called for the interview, resulting in self whispers of not being good enough.
The danger in these situations may seem subtle and of little consequence. They are just thoughts, after all. Yet, thoughts in this vein can be very destructive to myself
Scripture actually has a lot to say about the assumptions I lean toward. If I am not attentive to my inner dialogue, allowing these thoughts to take root in my heart, it can cause division, discouragement, fear and steal my peace. All of which have great consequences.
In the fall of last year, my husband and I took a trip out of town. The plan was to visit some friends who had an important event coming up in their lives, and we wanted to be present to show our support.
They live in the same state but a few hours away. I decided to take our dog along on the trip and booked a reservation at a pet-friendly hotel. What I didn’t realize until halfway through our trip was that he couldn’t be left alone in the hotel room while we attended the event. I understand the logic of this for reasons that are obvious to me now. Still, at the time, I didn’t think about it while planning the trip because it was a “pet-friendly hotel.”
When we arrived at our destination and evening rolled around, we showed up at the event to support our friends. Our dog was left in the car. The trip was underway, and the dog was with us, and it was too late in the game for any alternate solution.
The weather was cooler since it was fall, and we left the windows cracked. The car was parked where we could look out and check on him frequently.
Even with all of my best efforts to be present and supportive of our friends, my attention was divided. I probably walked over to the window to check on my dog every 5 minutes, feeling restless and anxious the whole night.
To an onlooker, there could have been a lot of assumptions made. “Why would she bring her dog on the trip?” “Why would she leave her dog in the car?” “Why does she keep going to the window and checking every 5 minutes?”
Here’s the thing. Every other person present that night didn’t realize that just a few weeks prior, our other dog had died in a tragic and traumatic way. My heart was still reeling from the loss. I could hardly sleep. My mind and body were filled with constant tension and anxiety from the unexpected trauma of it all.
Weeks later, I still couldn’t bear to be away from the dog sitting in the car. Struggling, I even had a hard time leaving him at home for short periods of time for fear that something would happen to him.
None of this was logical. And, the effects of grief and trauma seldom play by rules of logic.
Here’s why it is important to take careful inventory of the thoughts we think and the assumptions we tend to make. Only Jesus knows all of the details of a situation. All of the inner workings of a person’s heart. My assumptions about others, situations, and life in general are not always correct. It’s the same for other people and what they may have assumed about me, especially that night at the event. No one knows my heart but God.
In 2 Corinthians 10:2 (NIV), I am reminded, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
And in Phillipians 4:8 (NIV) “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
A friend once said something that has always stuck with me. She said, “I would rather believe the best about someone and be wrong than to believe the worst and be wrong.”
There is power in training our heart and mind to “believe the best,” as we are instructed to do in Phillipians 4:8. To take every thought captive; to submit each thought to Jesus, asking Him to align it with His truth as 2 Corinthians 10:2 says. I could have saved myself a lot of unnecessary worry and trouble by not assuming and asking the Father for the truth on different situations in my life.
Father, thank you for the truth and wisdom of your word. Help me to take every thought captive and surrender it to your truth. Amen
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