Assumption – a thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.
Assumptions! We all make them. The reality is that we probably make them every day and many times throughout the day without concern. Fact is, most assumptions made are safe and even necessary when faced with a decision or in looking at a set circumstances. I for one have always been a proponent of the “Duck Theory” and may have just labeled the phrase here. But as the saying goes, “if it walks, sounds and looks like a duck, it is probably a duck”; 99.99% of the time. I’m inclined to say 100% but knowing that there is probably someone or something out there that would prove me wrong, I will allow for a small margin of error. LOL (Figure that slang out). Joking aside, there are times where I have made an assumptions, not at all based on fact or a certain level of proof, that have left me humbled and I’m happy to share a few with you below.
The first that comes to mind happens years ago while training at the YMCA. In conversing with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, I was introduced to his cousin. Knowing that I was a Christian, he proceeded to share of his cousin’s recent baptism in Christ. Excited for him and assuming I may be familiar with his church, I asked the obvious question, “Where were you baptized?” His answer was one word and it still leaves me a bit stunned when thinking about it as I definitely made the wrong assumption. His answer was, “Renous”. For those not familiar, Ranous is a maximum security correctional facility located here in New Brunswick from which he had been recently released. I had to react quickly as that was the only response I had received and looking back, I feel that he was thinking I would look for a way out of the conversation. But thankfully knowing and being a recipient of the true grace of the gospel of Jesus, that was not going to happen. What resulted in the end was a time of great encouragement and a lesson learned for me to always be ready to give an account. 1 Peter 3 v 15
The second happened while singing and playing my guitar with a group of brothers and sisters on mission in New York City. It was late at night when some of us had decided to head to Staten Island in the hopes of being a blessing to someone in need through worship. I laugh when thinking on how the Lord had used us that night as I was a bit nervous about what might happen when we started out. On a subway heading to the Staten Island Ferry, it wasn’t long before I felt the long stare of what I assumed to be an irritated passenger on verge voicing her displeasure beside me. In finishing a song and deciding what to sing next she decided to speak and I found out I was wrong again. Through tears she shared of how she had just come from her mother’s wake and the song we had sung was one that they had sung that night at church and that the music was healing to her heart. In that moment we realized how great our God was as we continued to worship with her for the rest of the ride.
Thinking there were no more lessons to learn, we proceeded to do the same on the ferry that night while overlooking lady liberty herself. Before we knew it we had several children from a Muslim family dancing in front of us while an African immigrant who, wearing a medal given by her church in celebration of her loving heart, danced and sang in the room behind us. By the end of the ride she was with us along with a small crowd that made for a night that I will never forget.
One would think I would be done assuming when it comes to Christ but I’m still learning my lessons; lessons those of bible times had to learn and lessons that the body of Christ would do well to learn if we are to avoid the pitfalls and missed opportunities before us today. With the truth of scripture to bring context to the issue, Moses states the following in Deuteronomy 30 v 11 – 14 when considering God’s word and our ability to live a life that reflects it:
“Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”
In the scriptures above we hear Moses addressing an issue he knew would come up while at the same time stating the facts regarding that line of thinking. With this being a struggle for some today, below are other examples of assumptions often made and the truth of scripture to counter the them, providing a clearer current state reality while at the same time giving reason for hope:
- All roads lead to God (Universalism) – John 10 v 9 & 14 v 6; Acts 14 v 12; 1 Timothy 2 v 5
- Unforgivable Sins – Romans 8 v 38 – 39; Mark 3 v 29; Matthew 12 v 31 – 32
- I believe in God; I know God – James 2 v 19; Matthew 7 v 21 – 23
- I’m a good person – Romans 3 v 9 – 20
- Some people don’t deserve salvation – Jonah 4 v 1 -3
- Made right by works – Matthew 23 v 16 – 19; Psalm 51 v 10 & 16-17; Hosea 6 v 6; 1 Samuel 15 v 22
- Hell is the world we live in or not real – Revelation 21 v 8; Psalm 9 v 17; Proverbs 15 v 24; 2 Peter 2 v 4
- It’s too late for me; I’m not savable – John 3 v 16; Luke 23 v 39 – 43; Matthew 13 v 15
In closing, I do want to reiterate that many of the assumptions made are safe to make. Scripture speaks to our ability to make common sense judgments in Proverbs 2. But, when the waters are murky or our only source for reference is ourselves, it is always best to avoid the assumption definition and to operate in fact and truth; the foundation of God and his Word. The beauty of it is….it is God who gives it to us as I restate a scripture from Deuteronomy, “No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”
God Bless – Sean Bosse