My wife and I were talking about assumptions. We both know a guy who a lot of people assumed was less than smart in college. He did nothing to change this assumption and in fact he encouraged it. I knew a girl who was a virgin but people assumed she was a little loose with her morals. She never did anything to persuade them differently. Both of these people felt that most people had their own assumptions and agenda’s and attempting to change someone else’s mind was and is a waste of time. The guy that Erica and I knew believed that if people took the time to get to know him they would realize he wasn’t dumb and the people that didn’t take the time to get to know could think whatever the heck they wanted to think.
On the flip side, we also know people who try to cultivate an image that they are smart–by this I mean in the upper echelon of brain function–when in reality they are average or below average. They work very foster people’s assumptions about their intellect.
All of this caused me to stop and think about who’s responsible in these situations. Are all three people guilty of deception? Are all three “guilty” of nothing? Are the assumers the guilty one’s? My friend had an interesting post about assumptions today which in some way ties into this, I’m sure (warning there is profanity at his site).
The thing about assumptions is they are necessary. I get that. But they have to be held as assumptions and not fact. Until we can test them and prod them we have to remember they are nothing more than an assumption. They may be accurate, but they may not be. They may be completely wrong.
One of the things that always cracks me up is the assumptions I hear about Mars (the community that I chose to live covenentally with here in Grand Rapids). “Our congregation is young, we only play CCM as worship music” (this one cracks me up the most as we often play only hymns). One guy actually says we’re offering children to Molech but I think he might have a brain disorder. There are so many assumptions and so many of them are wrong. When I point this out to people they act as though they have to be right even though I am the one living here.
It kind of makes me wonder, how many of my assumptions are way off base. Don’t get too comfortable because the next obvious question is about your assumptions.