I shut the door behind her and within hours the words were twisting wicked and wrong. Can you hear that phone ringing? The wagons circled so quickly that I barely had room to breathe. I couldn’t breathe. In the weeks that followed I waited. I waited for these grown, god-fearing women I had trusted with my heart to step up in truth and begin to ask the tough questions. You know what they say about assuming?
Even though that circle of praying warriors had repeatedly affirmed that, “Love asks the questions,” I found the foundation of truth underneath all that posturing: they didn’t ask me even one question.
In the months that followed some voices were sent to speak the words, confirm the bias and spread more filth; others tried to ask, not knowing what they were supposed to be asking. There wasn’t any place that I could speak that was not already over-run with the dangerous crippling weapon of assumption.
- How do you speak truth when someone already believes they know all the answers?
- How can you answer the whys that never come?
- How do you answer questions that already conclude the answer that will be given?
- You know what they say about assuming?
Assuming the Worst
There were far more reasons for them to be right about me then to ask the questions necessary to understand everything that had transpired. They needed to believe the worst about me, then to be kind. No one had the time for kindness, to begin the hard work of searching for the whole truth. No one wanted the whole story... A whole story means you are responsible for what you uncover – both sides – a full truth.
There really are two sides to every story.
Everything that they were holding on to as community, authenticity, and “wholehearted” friendship was actually artificial harmony.
Pete Wilson says, “Community without truth is artificial harmony.”
I was devastated to learn that what I had been living among those women had not been authentic, wholehearted community…
- I learned that some people will never hear your, “NO.”
- Some people do not have the courage to speak, “Enough.”
- And we really are easily susceptible to following the mob.
Some of us have no one around us to speak the hard truth… and we like it that way. Life is easier in our comfort zones – truth-tellers make us uncomfortable.
I discovered how much assumption ruins relationships because: “An assumption is one person’s IDEA of what someone else is thinking, feeling or doing.” (Pete Wilson)
- Assuming isn’t seeking truth.
- Assuming is NOT discernment.
- Assuming keeps your ideas and beliefs unchecked…because you believe you are right and you slip into this headspace where you can not possibly be wrong. You can’t hear it – you won’t even try to hear it differently.
There is no room for failure, no room for growth, no room for love, no room for being wrong in the world of assuming.
Assumption places us on the road of reacting as if everything that happens outside our beliefs about ourselves and others – everything that does not fit in our assuming box is wrong and not right. We begin to be unable to hear the voice of reason.
Do We Hear The Hard Answers
Then the questions have to be asked – Would someone be willing to bring their answers to us because they know we are willing to listen and hear the whole truth? Do the people around you – speak truth to you, willing to answer your questions honestly – because you are known as someone who will receive them and their truth in love and mercy and active listening? Because you are known for asking the right questions into hearts and lives.
OR do they keep their questions and reasons and answers to themselves walking around our egg shells because we can’t hear someone’s truth without over-reacting and slamming people back?
When someone is speaking to us – do we really listen or do we spend the whole conversation in our own heads waiting to reply… waiting to refute them?
Why would someone come to us with their truth when we act like we already have all the answers?
Why would they come to us – if we don’t hear them?
I cringe at assuming people. And I cringe when I realize how much I have been living under my own cloud of assumption.
“Parents often assume they know exactly what their children feel, think or want. Bosses may assume employees know exactly what they want when they ask for something. Church attenders assume they know exactly what the pastor’s motives are. All of this is mind-reading or assuming and it is dangerous.While you may be right from time to time, more often your assumptions lead to unnecessary conflict, worry, and broken relationships.
So today I just want to encourage you to stop and think. Instead of making assumptions how about asking questions.
Some of you will. Some of you won’t.
You know why?
Because some of you are more comfortable with your assumptions. You actually like the false reality you’ve created around you. It serves your agenda quite nicely.” -Pete Wilson (you can read the rest of this post at Pete’s blog…)
What agenda does your assumptions serve?
*this post which originally appeared August 15, 2011 has been polished, edited for content, and republished from my original blog Jezamama.