Making Assumptions.

_Disappointment__-_1882_-_Julius_Leblanc_Stewart

When I was in my early 20s, I went to a prayer meeting where the preacher said, “Isn’t it wonderful to be a Christian. We don’t suffer from the ups and downs of emotions like neurotic people.”

I’ll never forget sitting there thinking, “My emotions are up and down. Am I neurotic? Is that what is wrong with me? He is saying it means you aren’t a Christian! Is that right?”

This happened in the 1970s. I would bet most pastors now realize most of their congregation is neurotic in some way or another. Here is the definition from Wikipedia:

Neuroticism is one of the Big Five higher-order personality traits in the study of psychology. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than average to be moody and to experience such feelings as anxietyworryfearangerfrustrationenvyjealousyguiltdepressed mood, and loneliness.[1] People who are neurotic respond worse to stressors and are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. They are often self-conscious and shy, and they may have trouble controlling urges and delaying gratification.

I don’t know, but it sounds like most of us to me.

I confess, I have done what that preacher did: assume. He assumed none of us in the room had those up and down emotions because he didn’t. He assumed all Christians were like him. He assumed Christ had taken care of all that in everyone.

I have assumed things about people. I have often said, “Well, they weren’t real Christians if they could do that!” You know what? That was wrong of me. I was actually saying they had no relationship with God at all. I don’t think I had the right to say that.

Our lives are a journey with God; we learn on this journey. We walk, fall, get up, run, crawl, get up, walk…  The times we fall may be when we are closest to God, who knows? Not you, not me. I am so guilty of the sin of judging people. I’m ashamed of myself and pray I will quit doing it. I hope I can just love people. Just love them. Let God worry about what they are doing. Let him clean them up and clean me up in his own time. I know very well there are people who think I am not a Christian.

In closing, on my last post I mixed up which quotations I was putting together. I left out a really good quote by Thomas a Kempis about feelings that I still want to post. So here it is:

MY SON, trust not to your feelings, for they will quickly be changed into something else. As long as you live you are subject to change, even against your will; so that you are at one time merry, then sad; at one time quiet, then troubled; now devout, then worldly; now diligent, then listless; now grave, and presently light-hearted. 

 But he that is wise and well instructed in the spirit stands firm upon these changeable things; not heeding what he feels in himself, or which way the wind of instability blows; but that the whole intention of his mind may tend to the right. 

So, I guess that pastor was wrong. We can have emotions that swing all over the place and still be Christians.

16 thoughts on “Making Assumptions.

  1. This is such a great post and I think that so many people will be able to relate to it, including me! I’m a very creative person and a deep thinker so have tendencies to experience peaks and troughs in my mood and with my emotions.
    That last quote really resonated with me, as I have learned (and still learning) not to depend or dwell on the way I feel but to stand on what God says about me or my circumstance.
    Thanks again for sharing,
    Hayley 😊❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for the reminder to back off from judgment. Jesus said to judge not lest we be judged. So would that be judged by God or judged by others? He also said if you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you. They sort of work together, don’t they? So, instead of judging, we forgive then God won’t judge us and He will forgive us. Sounds like a win-win to me. God bless you, Belle.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for getting us thinking about all the assumptions we make in daily life. It’ so easy to think we ‘know’, when truth is, none of us know everything about anybody!
    It’s a reminder to me to notice when I ‘label’ someone, and remove my preconceptions.
    I wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed to bless others, and be blessed by them, because of my wrong judgements… Thank heavens for a fresh start!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can sooooooo relate to the post! I am praying that more people read this post.your transparency is appreciated and relatable. I am on a journey to change how I think of others because I don’t want to judge as I don’t want to be judged .. only God sits that high. My God is so awesome and I know.. he will change my thinking as long as I stand in His word! God bless

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great Post.

    I think over time we have really confused being a Christian with being a believer who will be saved. Our salvation has only two conditions, that we believe Jesus is our Lord and Savior and we believe he has risen from the dead.

    I view being a Christian as separate from that. I view it as taking on a great responsibility of sharing the spirit of Christ and the Word of God. The spirit of Christ is not displayed by many of the emotions you mention here. If a feeling/action does not show faith, love, and hope; it is not coming from God but from sin.

    I agree that feeling those feelings do not make you not a Christian, but feeling that way does not belong in a Christian. We must fight internally to have faith and not allow fear to rule our life. We have to be patient with others, and not allow ourselves to be frustrated with the slow to mature. Our maturity requires gentleness, which is not shown through anger but through joy and peace.

    All humans struggle with emotions. We are flawed, but as Christians we can’t accept those flaws in ourselves. We will never be perfect, but we also have to strive for it. It is the only way we truly can return the love Jesus showed us by dying on the cross for us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the truth in this that the pastor’s was wrong, it shows his human side, for too often it feels like they try to push members if the clergy as supernatural persons who in a way are above us, but the beauty of this post shows us that we are truly all the same

    Liked by 1 person

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