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The First Step in Destroying a Relationship

How do you destroy a relationship?

Step One: Make Assumptions.

I recently received an email from an old friend who was upset with me. I’m not really at liberty to talk details, but it turned out to all be one BIG misunderstanding. In fact, he had made a series of assumptions which turned out to be completely false. At the end of the day I was just relieved we were able to work through the conflict, but it got me thinking.

Assumptions are the silent, deadly bombs that do nothing but destroy healthy relationships. An assumption is one person’s IDEA of what someone else is thinking, feeling or doing.

Parents often assume they know exactly what their children feel, think or want. Bosses may assume employees know exactly what they want when they ask for something. Church attenders assume they know exactly what the pastor’s motives are. All of this is mind-reading or assuming and it is dangerous.

While you may be right from time to time, more often your assumptions lead to unnecessary conflict, worry, and broken relationships.

So today I just want to encourage you to stop and think. Instead of making assumptions how about asking questions.

Some of you will. Some of you won’t.

You know why?

Because some of you are more comfortable with your assumptions. You actually like the false reality you’ve created around you. It serves your agenda quite nicely.

But never forget what Lemony Snicket said one time…

“Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make — bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake — if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble. Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct, and you can see at once how this can lead to terrible trouble.”

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Pete Wilson is the founding pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN and author of a new book entitled Plan B, his thoughts about what to do when life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would. He is a frequent blogger on his popular ministry blog, WithoutWax.tv. Pete is married and has three sons.