Some years ago I was recovering in the hospital from major cancer surgery and woke from a nice nap to see a good friend sitting by the side of my bed.
She and her daughter had dropped by to visit and cheer me up.
They’d brought along a monkey that they’d dressed up for my enjoyment. The little creature was entertaining and had me laughing in minutes.
I told them how much I appreciated seeing their little pet, as I hadn’t seen a monkey in a little dress before. Did he have a name?
The room got really quiet and after a quick prayer with me, my friends left.
I found out later that the “monkey” was my friend’s baby granddaughter and she and her daughter had eagerly looked forward to introducing me to the baby.
It was the morphine.
I swear… all I saw was a monkey. Tail and all.
Now don’t look so smug, because sometimes you see monkeys where there are no monkeys… otherwise known as “making wrong assumptions.”
And just like imaginary monkeys, assumptions often lead to a misrepresentation of other people or situations.
Misunderstandings result. People get labeled. Friendships end. Expectations turn weird.
But, most of all, God sits in the back seat as He watches you sabotage a relationship assignment He’d set up for you.
…ever stated something as fact, when it really wasn’t … or at least you hadn’t verified it? That’s a wrong assumption.
…ever read someone’s mind and known they didn’t like you? That’s an assumption.
…drawn a conclusion about a situation based on how you interpreted the evidence and later found out there was more to the story? That’s an assumption.
All of us have.
- This week, see how often you can catch yourself making an assumption. That’s a good first step.
- Then, of course, revisit your thinking so it involves more grace and less assumption.
- Choose to wait until you’ve gotten the facts of a situation or talked to person you might mislabel.
- And when you finally do know something is a fact and not a wrong assumption, handle it gently if it is a negative fact, and joyfully if it is a positive fact.
Let’s create a legacy that assumes the best in our relationships with people!
Here’s to less monkeying around and more gracious living,