Beyond Faulty Assumptions
The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” — John 10:31-33
Here, the people conclude that Jesus claimed to be one with God. And they were correct. He was claiming to be one with God. But there is one tiny little fault in their perception. They assume that he's a man claiming to be an additional deity — a deity with power like God. But he is not. He is actually God made flesh, not flesh making himself out to be an additional God. And because they have this tiny little fault in their perception, they are about to make an incorrect life-altering judgment about Jesus. They are literally about to kill him.
Every man has been on both sides of this experience. We have either been judged wrongly because of someone else misconceptions. Or we have judged wrongly because of these tiny little faults in our perceptions. We have all been on the giving and receiving end.
And I have learned this: I tend to have tiny little faults in my perceptions of the people I know the best. This is because I know them the best; therefore, I make these assumptions about their motivations linking them to past behaviors. And sometimes, these conclusions are wrong. So I end up throwing stones at them with my words. And only after I have injured them do I discover I have wrongly hurt people I love.
Today, give pause to your perceptions. They might be misconceptions. Spend more time trying to understand, and you might spend less time apologizing. And if you have recently hurt someone, do the hard work of confessing and reconciling your rush to judgment.
- Have you ever experienced being judged wrongly due to someone else's misconceptions or faulty perceptions? How did it make you feel, and how did you respond to it? Did it teach you anything about the importance of understanding others before rushing to judgment?
- Reflect on a time when you made a wrong judgment about someone close to you based on your own faulty perceptions. How did it impact your relationship? What steps can you take to ensure that you approach others with greater understanding and avoid making hasty judgments in the future?
DO THIS: Stop before making a judgment and seek to understand.
PRAY THIS: God, give me the humility to see beyond my own assumptions and the wisdom to approach others with understanding and love. Amen.
PLAY THIS: Give Us Clean Hands.
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