Monday, January 30, 2017

Never Assume

"The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom..."
- Isaiah 35: 1

**Photography by Melissa Talbot**

Assumptions, much like expectations, can have devastating consequences. Even in its definition, the word has similarity to expectation: 'a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.'

Whether big or small in size, assumptions can make us not only look foolish but feel foolish. Feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, and discouragement to name but a few of the 'side effects' of assumptions gone rogue.

Like expectations, I used to assume alot about, well, alot. If the weather person said it was going to be a sunny day, their word was their bond. However, the assumption that predicting weather was accurate became, at best, consistently inconsistent.

Our assumptions about the weather often pales in comparison to the larger ones we can easily get caught up in. Like assuming every Muslim is an extremist, every woman is out to manipulate, or every guy is a dog.

Perhaps you have been on the receiving end of other people's assumptions about you, maybe wrong assumptions, which resulted in heartbreak and self-consciousness. Then leading you to doubt who you are. I know I have.

Before Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came on the scene, over 2000 years ago, there was an obvious build up that a Messiah was coming. The people of that time assumed that this Messiah would finally release them from the oppression they had been facing.

That He, perhaps, would be a mighty warrior, riding on a white horse, brandishing a massive sword, and annihilate the Roman Empire and its armies in one fell swoop.

That all would be made right. That justice would be served. It turned out to be the biggest wrong assumption ever made.

Instead, Jesus came as a baby in a manger instead of a handsome knight on a horse and his weapon was not a sword but love. Love and mercy for every person He encountered. Acceptance of every race, creed, and color all without assumption.

He invited people to follow Him but never assumed they would. He taught what was right but never assumed anyone would listen to or do the things He preached. Jesus was the most unassuming, unexpectant, loving person to walk the Earth.

He was never disappointed when others rejected Him continuously. He was never surprised when those closest to Him denied ever knowing Him. Jesus was the embodiment of what many of us desire to be, whether Christian or not.

His resilience never stopped Him from being vulnerable in loving others or the toughness preventing Him from grieving openly. Nor intelligence causing hesitation to mingle with all levels of society.

Jesus never put up walls. He never placed restrictions . He possessed an openness to receive people, to love people, without expectation or assumption.

That is who I desire to be. A woman who holds nothing back so that others can know they are loved, appreciated, and encouraged to be their best. All while making no assumptions or holding any expectations as to the results.

It is my goal that both assumptions and expectations will continue to fall to the floor so that room can be made to live more freely and abundantly. These things, in my experience, have been key to living worry free and enjoying every moment in this life journey.

Encouragement for the week:

Do you sometimes make wrong assumptions about things or people? Have the results left you feeling or looking foolish?

Or did these wrong assumptions bring a deeper, more hurtful result of disappointment or discouragement?

I want to encourage you this week to do away with assumptions. Whether big or small, right or wrong, get rid of them and free yourself up for other things. Greater things. Pleasing things.

Things that could change your perspective, entirely, about a situation or person that you may not have considered had you made assumptions.

Think of it as beginning a scavenger hunt, no outcome assumed, and only excited to find the hidden and unexpected treasures.

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