Assumptions. Those ideas that we have that we just accept as true or things that we “Just know will happen” without any real proof… can lead to all kinds of blunders and even kill a congregation.
Like when we:
Assume what someone has done or has not done.
- When we rely on what we have seen and allow our perspective to judge them and make up our mind about them. Like in Luke 9:54 when James and John wanted to call down fire on the Samaritans for not receiving Jesus. How many relationships have been ruined because of this arrogance? How many hasty accusations or enraged comments have caused people to walk away? How many relationships stay at arm’s length because we think we know a person and just don’t get involved?
Assume someone’s worth based on appearances or one interaction.
- In James 2 we are warned against giving places of honor or leaving people out based on our judgement of their net worth and cleanliness. Of course we have friends, but how are we choosing who else to go to sit by, ask over, go out to eat with or thinking to ask to help you?
Assume someone’s relationship with God based off of what we witness them doing or not doing.
- This can happen both when we are elevating someone and when we look down on them. We may look & assume they have it all together and are good, or that they are a mess and aren’t trying hard enough… instead of getting to know them and learning the journey they are on. As a result, some are left on the outside while others are left silently suffering because we assume they are ok.
Assume that the show will go on without me.
- The thought that “No one will miss me?” Your presence, your place in the body is more important than you know both to the work of this body and it’s morale. This family… you being here is important! Maybe people take you for granted and don’t appreciate you in a way that you can perceive it (shame on us) but you are important to this body and to me — and don’t assume otherwise!
Assume that if I don’t step up, someone else will.
- So we allow all kinds of factors to influence what we are willing to do. We wrongly assume – “I’m being asked, but so are a lot of other people. So, if I say no or later… surely someone else will step up” But what if they don’t? What if that understanding of priorities spreads to us all? What happens to that ministry? To the people benefitting from it? What is being taught to the future generations?
Assume that ministries will continue and the church will grow even if we don’t participate or give.
- Are we supporting the ministries that others are taking the lead in? The wonderful part about a body our size is that the same people don’t have to do everything if people are willing to step up. However, we still need to support the efforts. Whether it is donating, showing up for a game night someone planned, giving to someone that wants to go help support a mission effort, attending the family retreat, or being in class on Wednesday night so the teacher has someone to teach… we need to avoid assuming that this body will be healthy and growing and staying as we want if we aren’t here to help support and serve in it.
Brothers and sisters, we are the body of Christ. This isn’t written as a rebuke but as an encouragement to continue to stretch and grow! May our prayer be that we will love, support, encourage and be unified with one another as closely as Jesus is to the Father. That begins by not assuming that we know and love one another… let it begin with me.
Striving alongside you for the prize,