You know, my hubby and I don’t watch cable at all . . . we watch local news and some programs/movies through Netflix. Over the past month we watched a series from BBC called “Luther” about a ‘non-conventional’ but very smart detective who had faced MUCH adversity. There was one, then two other officers who got completely the wrong impression of this man and instead of taking the time to get to KNOW him they drew very wrong conclusions about his character and as a result almost destroyed him. One of them died, and the other severely wounded, although she finally realized that her assumptions were not based on reality at all. Wrong assumptions lead to wrong conclusions which can lead to wrong accusations and wrong actions taken against another person or persons . . . we MUST tread very carefully!
That show on top of our study in the book of Job these past few days really got me to thinking how horrible things can become when we make decisions based on assumptions of someones character or status in life! Yes, even as Christians! Many of us, like Job’s friends, tend to ‘assume’ when someone is hurt, very sick, going through bad times, etc. that they must have some how fallen away from their faith and God had turned His back on them. First of all, God does NOT turn His back on His children! Secondly, if / when He allows some tragedy to befall one of His children, He will use it to help shape, mold, and grow that person to be even greater than before. Giving them a testimony out of their time of testing!
As Job’s friends came to be with him when they heard of his circumstances, they sat in sackcloth and ashes, mourning with him silently for seven days . . . then . . . their accusations began to flow! Every one of them fully believed that Job had somehow fallen from God’s grace and needed to repent so that he could be restored. Job held his ground, proclaiming his faith was still intact, but did start allowing himself to get into a ‘pity party’ (although, we can all pretty much understand why he felt the way he did-wishing he had not even been born) . . . Job had ‘reason’ to be down – he had lost absolutely everything; his body was being attacked with sores; his wife wanted him to curse God and die; then top it all off with ‘friends’ who bombarded him with accusations based upon wrong assumptions. Talk about destructive!
Job cried out, through this time of testing by his friends, saying of God, “He is not a man like me that I might answer Him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.” Job 9:32-35 (NIV)
The good news is this . . . there IS Someone like that for us . . . Jesus, Christ!
So, next time you feel yourself in the midst of some extremely difficult situation, or false accusations, remember that you DO have an advocate – Jesus.
And, next time you begin to feel yourself drawing conclusions about someone else, stop – take a few moments to ask yourself if you’re absolutely SURE the information on all the circumstances, the person’s true character, are correct or if you’ve drawn upon what someone else has said or what something ‘looks’ like. If you have not taken the time to get to KNOW that person, don’t jump into assumptions . . . things are not always what they seem. It is too easy to draw quick assumptions and follow them up with false accusations which can destroy a person, their family, their position (at work, at the church, in the community), their very lives. They, too, have an advocate in Jesus, as believers. WE will be accountable to Him for what we say and do to others!
The best (and only) way to truly avoid the trap of falling into wrong assumptions is to always walk in Christian love (Agape – unconditional, pure) towards all people. After all, Paul tells us in Romans 13:10, “Love does no harm to his neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” This reiterates what Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 22:37-40, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.”
© klh 4Given Ministries