Monday, January 17, 2011

Trust & Assumptions

When I was a teenager I was fairly involved in church, not that I understood anything about God, but I had a desire to be a part of the student leadership.  One Sunday I was sitting in Sunday school listening to the youth leader, I was writing something down and trying my best to take notes (something I am not known for, I am a horrible note taker).  In the midst of that I missed the reference and asked the guy next to me.  In the exchange, he had his Bible resting on his leg and it slipped off and fell to the floor.  I was immediately told by another youth leader that I need to move my chair over by the adults and sit by them since I was such a disruption.  Mind you, if I remember correctly, I was a junior in high school.

I was humiliated.  The assumption was made that I, a prankster, knocked the Bible off my friends lap because it would be funny.  Even though it wasn’t true, the assumption was made, what I said was not trusted and I was guilty before I was even tried.  After the class was over, the adults vacated the students out of the room and sat me in the middle of the room and berated me about how I would never be a leader, and that they were foolish to ever think I could develop into a leader.  This lasted about ten to fifteen minutes.  

I left and did not return.

It is amazing what misperceptions come out when there is an assumption from one side that they know the whole situation and do not trust the other side may be innocent of the assumption that is being made of them.  I still have a lot of assumptions about me, some are good and some are bad.  None of them hurt worse than the situations when you spend time and love on people and then out of nowhere you say something that isn’t to their liking and all of a sudden, they assume you have lost your mind and the trust that you had worked so hard to build for years become fractured.  

When we make assumptions that someone doesn’t have our best interest in mind, that they aren’t being serious enough, that they don’t seek council for their decisions, that they aren’t smart enough, and the list can go on, we see the breakdown of trust.  How far does any relationship go without trust?  How far can any business relationship even go without trust?  How can any boss delegate important tasks to someone that they don’t trust?  Sure there are people that aren’t trustworthy, I get that, but I think sometimes there is a lot of assumption in there, and sometimes we assume the worst because someone doesn’t handle a matter as we would, so therefore they are wrong.  

Do you see a breakdown in a system when wrong assumption and lack of trust creep in?

I have been rather broad to this point, but can you imagine what happens if this creeps into a church?  The separation and divisiveness that comes in causes much destruction, and really, doesn’t this look a lot more like the opposite of what a church should look?  It is a very frustrating situation to have wrong assumptions being made about you, to have people believe that you do not have their best interest in mind, and they either openly or quietly don’t trust you even though you are laying down your life to minister to them.  It is a terrible hurt to be a part of a body that doesn’t trust you because you aren’t doing things the way they believe you should, even though god is leading you that direction.

Can you see a breakdown when wrong assumptions are made and distrust abounds?

I began to ask myself what this would look like if it infiltrated our personal relationship with God.  This came up as I have been reading John because I have seen how Christ (I dare you to find someone more trustworthy) was absolutely not trusted and why?  He was distrusted and assumed of because people made so many wrong assumptions about Him.  Reading John has calmed my heart and helped me in my dealings with some of my friends that seem to randomly come to a point that they believe I don’t have their best interest in mind.  I find myself reading in John and almost feeling a compassion for Christ’s situation.  He cannot put what He is telling them any clearer, He cannot make more sense, and He could not be more right, but the majority walks away from Him because they assume He is lying and is therefore not trustworthy.

So, my point today is, be careful who you do not trust.  Be careful what assumptions you make.  Be careful of the repercussions of the decisions you make on what you believe.  If you take inventory of the people that you distrust and make assumptions of, are those assumptions founded or is it more of a preference matter?  As I stated before, there are people who are not trustworthy, I get that, but are there trustworthy people that we, as the Jewish people of Christ’s time, have not trusted.  Think of the breakdown that occurred in those Jewish people walk with God as they walked away from Christ because of what they assumed.  

Besides…you know what they say happens when you assume. 

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