Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is: ASSUME
My first thoughts on seeing this word is a little saying that has oft kept me in check.
‘When I assume, I make an ass out of you and me’.
And this is a good warning.
Assumptions are dangerous, but, like judgments, we seem to make them constantly!
We see or hear something and we think we understand, so draw conclusions and expectations which can highly influence and prejudice our responses.
It is hard sometimes to get a balance between trusting/believing the source, making judgments based on experience and common-sense, and holding lightly the ideas and allowing the spirit to discern.
It is a skill I am trying to learn.
I am slowly learning to not lean on my own understanding, but listen for Holy Spirit counsel.
It reminds me of the story of Balaam and the ass. The ass we assume does not speak, nor do we assume that a donkey would see an angel of the Lord. But God manages to speak to Balaam through the donkey/ass. Balaam however does not seem to shocked that the ass saw the angel, or that it spoke back to Balaam, but explains to his donkey that he beat him because he felt the donkey had made a fool of him.
When we assume, we usually do a good job of making a fool of ourselves!
Sometimes I am stubborn and behave like an ass; sometimes I am nowhere near as smart as an ass!
When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”
Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”
The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
“No,” he said.
Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
Oh that we would hear and obey the voice of the Lord and never rely on our own understanding.
There’s a proverb for that somewhere?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.