May 2018
          There is a word I discovered this week, assumicide. I don't know if it's in the dictionary, but it's what happens when you make false assumptions about others so that you can portray them in the worst possible light. We do this all the time:

     We are so prone to be suspicious. When we become offended or hurt, we immediately begin to look for evidence that someone did us wrong. I can't tell you how many times I have done that in my marriage or in my parenting and I can't tell you how many times it's been done to me; I don't keep track of those things, but I do remember certain ones.

     I remember a time I was young, maybe seven, and a girl on the playground didn't trust me to hold her ball. I didn't know her. I remember when Aric made a boy his age leave our front porch when it was time to eat. I asked him, "Why did you make him go home?" He replied, "Because he would steal things." I had some stuff on the porch. "Why do you think he would steal things?" "Because he's black." Talk about assumptions. I sat him down and explained that a person's skin color has no bearing on how a person would act. I asked him why he would think that. "Well, the ones at school do." Assumicide leads to the death of relationships because we end up believing the worst about others. We've all been guilty of drawing wrong conclusions on the basis of tiny scraps of evidence:

     It starts over something small. That's how it usually happens. Someone didn't greet us in the hallway, they didn't answer our email, they didn't invite us to their party, they didn't show up for an appointment. Or we heard they said something negative about us. Or they didn't laugh at our jokes. Or they suddenly seem cold when they used to be glad to see us.

     Little things. Small stuff. Petty complaints. It hurts.

     On the other hand, if you are the victim of assumicide, it's very hard to fight back against false assumptions.¬†Few things hurt more than being misunderstood by our close friends. The closer they are to us, the greater the pain. When that happens we discover a lot about ourselves. How we respond when we've been misunderstood tells a great deal about the depth of our Christian faith.

     Look for the good in others because you do not always know where they have been or what is going on in their lives. Assume the best and trust that God will lead us and them.


        Yours in Christ
        Pastor Mitch