I once heard the story of a man who walked onto a bus with his three very hyper children. This was going to be an all-night ride, so passengers were hoping for peace and quiet so they could get some sleep on their journey. After 15 minutes of yelling, jumping over seats and throwing things back and forth, passengers began looking at each other wondering who would be the first to demand that the dad tame his unruly children. To make matters worse, he seemed totally oblivious to the fact that his children were misbehaving. He was just starring out of the window, not the least bit concerned with the noise or the sentiments of the people around him.
How irresponsible and inconsiderate to just allow his kids to misbehave like this while people were trying to sleep! What kind of father is this?! Finally, several people gathered the courage to tell him exactly how they felt. Sir! Could you please settle your children down? Some of us are trying to get some sleep. The man seemed to come to himself, and apologized. Please forgive me. My children and I are returning from their mother’s funeral. My wife just passed away, and we are all still recovering from the shock of all that has happened.
Do you think these people changed how they felt about this man after getting this bit of information? We often make assumptions based on the information we have in front of us, but often we don’t have enough facts to make accurate judgments. Appearances can be misleading. This is why Jesus said, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24).
How often do we allow our assumptions to color how we look upon and judge people? Would our assessment be any better if we could see things the way God sees them?
Ellen White observed, “So frail, so ignorant, so liable to misconception is human nature, that each should be careful in the estimate he places upon another.”
Wow! A little further she wrote, “We cannot afford to let our spirits chafe over any real or supposed wrong done to ourselves…We should not allow our feelings to be easily wounded. We are to live, not to guard our feelings or our reputation, but to save souls. As we become interested in the salvation of souls we cease to mind the little differences that so often arise in our association with one another” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 483-485).
May God bring healing to any relationship in your life that has been strained due to false assumptions.