"Assumptions are the termites of relationships." Henry Winkler
While Fonzie of TV's Happy Days might be a strange place to go for wisdom, I think he has a point. Being in the church business, I gain access to a lot of relationships. Since we are so busy with all the tasks we think are important, we tend to generate a lot of assumptions about people along the way. That is, we project onto others what is easy for us to believe and accept; forgoing the necessary ground work of time together that brings true knowledge of an other. We assume that others are wholly like us or wholly unlike us. Assumptions (including expectations) kill.
Only a true knowledge of an other yields an assumptionless love of who the other is. When I am accepted for who I am, I open up. I consider changes necessary to life. I am free. Assumptions create a burden to be someone else, created not by our Creator but by another who is created. Assumptions eat away at us because, deep down, we know we will never be able to live up to any other standard but the one we have in Christ.
When Jesus tells us to be perfect, he encourages us to be perfectly who God made us to be. Love does that. Love not only does not make assumptions, it embraces us as treasures, even if imperfect in our current reflection.
Who lies in our relationship orbit who is burdened by our assumptions? Pray we move from the coziness of assumptions to the boldness of acceptance that comes from truly knowing an other.