Do you know what happens when you assume? You make an ASS out of U and ME. (That one never gets old!) Really, do you know what happens when you assume? You put yourself at risk. For your assumptions might be wrong. Worse yet, when you put yourself at risk, you naturally put others at risk, because your assumptions will inform your decisions. Your actions will always reveal what you believe. If you believe something, that is truly only an assumption, your actions will put yourself and others at risk.
Let’s look at a specific example: You cannot assume that your relationship with God is more special than that of other people. What’s that you say? You would never assume such a thing? Well, let me ask you a question. Have you ever looked at another person or heard about the actions of another person and thought to yourself, I am glad that I am not as bad as they are? Of course you have. We all compare ourselves to others by judging the actions and decisions of others. We grade our own “goodness” in comparison to the “badness” we see in other people. We create a hierarchy of sinfulness based on our assumptions and we place ourselves somewhere on the not-too-perfect-but-better-than-them scale.
To assume in this way puts yourself at risk because you begin to inoculate yourself to your very own sinfulness. This perspective builds walls and becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because your assumptions inform the evidence that you seek. You only pay attention to or you only seek out evidence that confirms your assumptions. As opposed to allowing all of the evidence to inform the assumptions you make. In the above stated example, your very own sinfulness is rationalized away as not as bad as the other person’s sinfulness.
To assume in this way also puts others at risk because it becomes an us against them, and us is always better than them, perspective. You will always do what you believe. If you believe the assumption that your relationship with God is more special than that of other people, you will begin to treat other people differently. You will also begin to teach other people, by your actions, to treat other people differently. Thus, the other people are at risk because you are creating a perspective that lessens them in some way. In addition, you are putting the people who believe as you do at risk because your actions are merely confirming their very own assumptions.
So, what are we to do? The easy answer: Never assume. But that is impossible. So, the tough answer: Go out and find all the the facts before you assume anything. Don’t simply assume everything and then go out and find the facts that only support your assumption. Seeking truth will never make an ASS out of U and ME!