Those of us who seek to walk in our Calling will face opposition. Opposition makes us stronger, but in the natural, it is unpleasant and undesirable.
There are all kinds of hurdles we must overcome; it is in the overcoming that we are prepared to fulfill the Call. No matter what the plans and purposes for our lives, there are themes of opposition which we must face. So, I’m beginning a Series which will seek to address several of these areas in the attempt to prepare you for them before they arise, so you can recognize them and tackle them from a position of awareness and strength.
One hurdle to overcome is Facing False Assumptions.
When Assumptions are made about us, how do we respond?
First, I think that people have a natural tendency to define one another, and to group people based on their own past experiences. Have you had the experience of encountering someone new who reminds you of an old friend or relative? Perhaps you’ve assumed they are very similar in character because they look, sound or behave similarly. And yet, this new person will have a whole set of different experiences and DNA that will define them, and probably they are very different from the person they remind you of. You many well have grouped these two people together and may have unconsciously made assumptions about the new person without even realizing it.
Or, have you a person in your life with whom you have shared a series of experiences, and have therefore defined how they will probably respond in a new set of circumstances? If so, then you are making assumptions about the person. They may be correct assumptions, but they are still assumptions.
Now, let’s look at how others form opinions about you. We know that first impressions are important, because that sets the tone for a relationship. It is far easier to gain someone’s respect when we make a good first impression than a poor one, and poor first impressions create an uphill battle to a good relationship. We have some influence over how to create a good first impression. But with cultural differences, even the way we meet and greet can be misconstrued. All we can do is to be loving and sincerely interested in the other person, be respectful and polite, and aim to begin a positive and life-giving relationship.
When we know we have done our best to be courteous and considerate, we can stem the tide of self-condemnation (another hurdle I’ll address next time). But from time-to-time through no fault of our own, wrong assumptions – negative assumptions – will be made about us. We will face judgment and criticism. Knowing we are innocent is one way of preventing guilt and shame. But still we face a hurdle because of someone else’s false assumption.
How do we respond to the false assumption? Do we ignore, confront, side-step or become oppressed by it?
If we allow ourselves to be oppressed, we will prolong the time it takes to enter our Calling.
If we ignore or side-step it, we might be able to demonstrate, through our courage and conviction, that the assumption has been false. Or the filter through which we are seen may distort their perception of us even further.
If we confront it, we run the risk of making things worse – making the relationship more strained.
It isn’t easy to overcome false assumptions.
If we pray, we will act out of spiritual wisdom and not natural, and will find the way forward.
People will limit your Call, ability, gifting, with their assumptions. We face opposition in order to grow in faith and confidence. As we listen to God’s voice, He will guide us, and help us to navigate through the blockage. Wait upon the Lord. Be still and wait upon the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)
“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Blessings to you!