Why Assuming the Best Leads to Connection (Genesis 3:8-9)
By: Rachael Adams
Today’s Bible Verse: “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” - Genesis 3:8-9
“How did you cook the chicken?” my husband asked.
I stopped mid-chew and glanced at his plate to assess the situation. “Why?” I questioned, my mind already tunneling down a dark mine.
He doesn’t like it. So much for making a special trip to the grocery store and trying a new recipe. He doesn’t think I’m a good cook. Or a good mom. Or a good wife. Or a good person at all.
Interrupting my negative thought spiral, he responded, “It’s really good. You should make it more often.”
Well, that sure wasn’t what I thought he was going to say! What wasted mental energy. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a one-time occurrence for me. My mind tends to assume the worst rather than the best. Can you relate? Let’s explore some common examples:
You see a group of friends in a picture on social media. You weren’t invited to the outing. So you assume they don’t like you.
You call someone and they don’t answer. Even worse, they don’t call you back. So you assume they are mad at you.
You didn’t receive the acceptance letter. So you assume you aren’t qualified and don’t have what it takes.
Does this thought process sound familiar? To assume is to accept something as true or certain to happen without proof. In essence, we are coming to a conclusion that is not based on a factual reality; we are just filling in the blanks.
We do this in our relationship with God, with others, and even ourselves. The result when we allow these negative assumptions to continue? We end up discontented and disconnected. Over time, if we continue this behavior, we will end up lonelier and unhappier than we were to begin with. The danger in assumptions is divisiveness. But this the goal of the devil after all, isn't it?
This was certainly the case for Eve. If you’ll remember her story in Genesis 3, she too made dangerous assumptions that, in turn, led to dangerous actions. The devil deceived her to assume God was withholding something good from her, so she ate the forbidden fruit. This action led to her hiding in shame, distancing, and disconnecting from God, assuming the worst about Him.
Isn’t this what we do when we assume as well? We too pull away in an effort to self-protect. While this is our natural tendency, the irony of this reaction is that it makes us even more vulnerable because now we are alone.
But as we keep reading Eve’s story, we witness God pursuing her despite her pushing away. He continued to question her in an effort to communicate and discover her heart: “Where are you? Who told you you were naked? What is it you have done?” He asked, still desiring a relationship with her.
His questioning causes me to consider: What if the solution to disconnection is the pursuit of connection? It may seem obvious, and it certainly isn't easy, but repairing disconnection starts with choosing to stay, rather than pulling away. It starts with pulling each other close.
However, though it is a piece of the puzzle, proximity isn’t the only answer. It takes intentional conversation to understand someone else’s heart and perspective. Clearing up confusion requires being inquisitive and being willing to communicate.
God already knew the answers to the questions He asked Eve because He is omniscient. But He asked anyway. We aren’t all-knowing, so why do we assume things to be true when we don’t know anything for certain? We don’t know unless we ask. Therefore, let’s trade our assumptions for questions.
Let’s start assuming the best rather than the worst. Since God is a good Father, it is safe to assume His plans for us are good. Since we are made in His image, let’s assume people’s intentions are good unless they prove it otherwise. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt, as the people in our lives are likely battling their own assumptions too.
Friend, don’t allow negative assumptions to prevent you from forming relationships, and even more so, don’t allow them to destroy the relationships you currently have. Instead, replace them with positive assumptions and questions. When we do, I think we can safely assume connection and contentment will follow as a result.
P.S. DM me for the chicken recipe!
Rachael Adams is a writer, speaker, podcaster, and founder of The Love Offering. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women to realize their God-given purpose to live out our faith together by loving God, loving others, and learning to love ourselves. Rachael and her husband live in Kentucky with their two children. Connect with her online at rachaelkadams.com or @rachaeladamsauthor on social media.
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