The Art of Presumption

to think that (something) is true without knowing that it is true

Welcome back to ‘art class’ where today’s medium is the art of presumption.

Largely homegrown, presumption (thinking that something is true without knowing it is true) begins by being stitched into our childhood perceptions. A classic example is the ‘one bad apple’ syndrome.

Remember second grade and the couple of classmates who were notorious for getting in trouble, which resulted in the unfair loss of recess for the entire class? One bad apple became two. Instant multiplication.

If that happened more than once over the course of the school year, you likely graduated to third grade with a sour apple taste in your mouth where annoying boys, bossy mean girls, or teachers who punished everyone instead of the culprits were concerned.

For some, it may have only taken once to leave that sour taste. For others, a repeated pattern that included similar elements of behavior, words or attitudes did a number on our ability to remain un-presuming.

Outcomes we didn’t like
became expectations of the world and people in it
set in the stone of presumption.

That’s a mouthful. But it pretty much sums up the way it works. The art of presumption was born long ago.

Truth be told, today’s adults are grown-up children in adult bodies. Where growth has been at work from the root level up, developing and ongoing maturity is a blessed result. It’s how we are designed to grow – unless that growth and development has been stunted or damaged.

It’s when a habit practiced and indulged long enough becomes a lifestyle, that we – and ultimately society – encounter problems. Seven billion people on the planet see to that.

The art of presumption has been finely honed and caused more hurt than we have a band-aid big enough.

For the sake of brevity and due to the wide swath of news and social media coverage, I will refrain from rehearsing that of which we are already well and recently aware. Suffice it to say that the art of presumption is no longer voiced just behind closed doors. It is practiced publicly while it hits close to home.

People and reputations, earned or ill-perceived, are chewed up, spit out and left for ‘one bad apple’ after another. All I can say is that none of us ever began with ‘apple sainthood’ and all of us have practiced the art of presumption to some degree.

As a faith-based life coach and a committed Christian, I know there is only One who can heal hearts and change long-held ways of detrimental thinking that remain in operation. Yet, He is realistic about what ails us and asks us to be as well. If there’s even a modicum of desire to grow and change, He gladly invites us to engage with Him in the process.

Let me leave you with a couple of thoughts that I hope you will prayerfully consider:

Thinking and Knowing are two different things.

  1. How often do you confuse the two by jumping to conclusions? Thinking without really knowing.
  1. Do you find yourself frequently pronouncing “what’s what” when you have only some, few or no facts at all to substantiate what you think you know?
  1. Presumption is a byproduct of lack of relationship. In what ways and with whom might you practice reaching out to narrow the gap? There will be as many different answers as there are acts of presumption. Choose one and ask the Lord to not only help you recognize opportunities but act upon them by not choosing the kneejerk reaction of the art of presumption.

I for one must still practice unperfecting the art of presumption. No doubt I have lots of company. If you’d like to visit one on one – without presumption – you can reach me here. Listening and talking can help, both of us. I call that redemptive multiplication!

~ Nancy

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