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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Party of One”

Years ago on one of my first jobs, I learned some somewhat-crude-yet-invaluable advice that I try to take to heart:

“When you assume something, you make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.”

Perhaps a somewhat less vulgar version of the same idea can be expressed in Proverbs 18:2 – “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Certainly that can be said of Pinkie Pie in this episode, who rather than relied on her own experiences with her friends jumped to conclusions and ended up fretting and getting angry over nothing. Important to note, however, is more mid-episode. Not only did she assume the worst about what the girls were plotting, but she actively started looking for evidence to support it, such as in forcing Spike to lend an ear to her fears and, even when seeing a party being thrown in her honor, immediately declared it to be a “going away forever” party. Worse yet was her little semi-crazed dialogue with her “new friends”, which revealed she was ruminating over the idea and reinforcing it in her own mentality…and all for nothing.

Assumption can be annoying at best and downright dangerous at worst. And it can happen anywhere: at home, at school, at work, in the outdoors, etc. I always disliked it when I was younger when my family “assumed” I didn’t have any plans and went ahead and volunteered me for things. At work, my co-workers certainly hated it whenever I devoted a large amount of time to a task I “assumed” they wanted me to do. “Assuming” everything will go well while camping or hiking or river-rafting is a recipe for unprepared disaster, as is “assuming” the other drivers on the road will be more cautious on the route I take if I go without insurance. And naturally at school, it’s rather bad when I have a pop quiz and I “assumed” that I wouldn’t.

It’s hard to deal with people who always make assumptions about everyone else, too. Some of it might be based in bad experiences or history but, if I’m trying to make things up with someone, I would like it if they didn’t assume I was going to do the worst. I know that was hard for certain family members who were breaking addictions or who had a less-than-trustworthy history. Stereotypes and prejudices are yet another form of assumption that is damaging both to individuals and society.

Yet the worst assumption one can make, and that I’ve been guilty of, is four words: “God doesn’t love me.”

Maybe I feel I sinned too much. Maybe I feel I failed too many times at turning around. Maybe I feel deep down inside I’m a horrible person and so I’m totally unlovable. Maybe I even feel I’ve faced such hardship or terrible events in my life that God is out to get me or even hates me. Whatever the reason, when I get to the point where I assume God doesn’t love me/won’t forgive me/hates me/etc., I’ve hit bottom. Now I’m in the situation where when I feel that “human love” also fails me I have literally nothing. Now I no longer care to try anymore because I begin to think I’m a failure at life. Now comes depression and anxiety and hopelessness.

Assumptions can be a reflection of ourselves. A reflection of our world view and how we view society, and a reflection of our own distortions and misconceptions. They can be led on by feelings and pre-judgments. And while feelings are a gift from God and we are logical creatures, feelings can deceive you and logic can be faulty; especially when coming from a human brain which, most would agree, is highly illogical. The cure to assumptions is not to lean on our own understanding or logic or thought processes but to look at thing at how they are. This isn’t always easy because no one sees the world as it is, but rather how they want to see it. Even those who cling to facts and statistics only go to the sources that support them. That’s why it’s important to constantly “seek truth” in all things in life. As Jesus says in John 8:32, “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

And when it comes to questioning whether or not God loves you, the Bible makes it clear. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” (John 15:9) “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…” (1 John 3:1 [first part]) “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;” (Psalm 103:11) “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7) “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35, 37-39)

No matter what the thoughts or feelings are that we have and how much it may want us to “assume” this isn’t true, it’s important at times like this to look at what the facts say…right there in the Bible. Everyone is a sinner. Everyone falls short. That’s why no one gets into Heaven on good works alone in spite of how much more “saintly” we may see others than us; but in accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We are all the same in the Eyes of God, and he loves us all equally enough to send his only Son to die in our place for our sins. Cling to that instead of assumptions.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you that no matter what I am feeling, what I am fearing, how loathsome I feel or how much of a ‘failure’ I assume I am, you still love me ‘with an everlasting love’. Help me to feel this love in my inmost being and let it be a conduit to others. And forgive me for the sin of ‘assumption’ in regards to others and to you. Help me to cling to truth in all things. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”