Today’s post comes from Radical Mentoring Executive Director Kevin Harris . . .
While listening to a podcast the other morning, I heard a term that stopped me in my tracks . . . assumicide. I am not sure if the speaker made the word up or not, but the idea resonated deeply with me. Here’s how he defined it . . .
Assumicide: the way we murder other people in our hearts by the false assumptions we make about them
If you have more . . . you assume people with less are lazy or not as well educated as you.
If you have less . . . you assume people with more were born with a silver spoon and haven’t worked a day in their lives.
If your kids are struggling in school or at sports . . . you assume other children have had better tutoring or training.
If your marriage is in a tough spot . . . you assume everyone else’s marriage is as good as Instagram makes it look.
As the world grows more digital and less conversational, the temptation to make character assumptions is rampant, tearing apart our families and communities. We too often assume the worst about people, compare ourselves to others, and jump to the conclusion that we have someone all figured out.
As expected, Jesus shoots it pretty straight, “Do not judge or you too will be judged.” Strong words from someone who was on the other side of assumption for much of his ministry (“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”). Solomon says it this way, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions.”
We all make hundreds of assumptions every day . . . I assume my cars will start, my chair will hold me, that someone will actually read this post . . . most of these assumptions are pretty harmless. But in areas that truly matter . . . faith, marriage, parenting, relationships . . . assumptions limit our viewpoint and keep us from walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.
So how do you combat the sin of assuming? Become a great listener and a better question asker. Embrace transparency. Become an empathizer (as Reggie Joiner says, “Empathy is the ability to press pause on your own thoughts and feelings long enough to understand someone else’s”).
So, this week, don’t assume. It’s a cancer to the authentic community we all want to build.