I heard this in a movie once. It made me laugh. But it also made me wonder. How many of us live life like that? Just having the perspective that was handed down to us by our grandparents and parents. Never stopping to think if that perspective is in line with God’s perspective.
When my husband was just out of college, he got a job in a machine shop over the winters. Working there was a guy who had a real chip on his shoulder about the owners. They were thoughtless, careless people who didn’t give a rip about him. Any new plan they put into place was viewed with suspicion. Everything new was bad. And, yet, we knew, that wasn’t the case. This man had grown up thinking the boss was always bad. Perhaps his dad or his grandfather really did have an evil boss who took advantage of his employees. Who knows?
Ironically enough, this man’s son came to work for us. And guess what? He, too, came with the same large chip on his shoulder. I will never forget the time we tried to put a matching and fully voluntary IRA in place as a benefit for our employees. He thought that somehow we were trying to take advantage of him and take something from him. He refused to participate for years, because of his fear that we were out to get him.
He never stopped to truly think about it. To truly understand that there was no possible way the company could be taking advantage of him by giving him a matching IRA. In his mind, he could not comprehend that owners would ever want to do something nice for their employees.
We can judge these guys I have talked about, but you know what? We do it, too, don’t we? We have assumptions and perspectives that we never stop to think about. We go along in our lives daily and just assume them. As I already said, some of them come from our heritage. But some of them we have made up along the way.
Perhaps someone said something in an irritating or angry way a time or two and you made an assumption about them that will never leave you. Even if that person is aware of that sin and is working on it, people like you and I do not make it very easy on them. We continue to hold it over them, remembering one or two (or a thousand) moments when they have hurt us.
But I am not really sure that we are to live like this. Wouldn’t it be better, for peace and unity, to examine our perspectives from time to time and figure out if they are truly a godly perspective or just something that was handed down to us or perhaps developed from our past experiences?
And perhaps-if we really stop and think- we may even realize that the Christian brother or sister that isn’t quite like us is a really nice person. Or perhaps we might realize that our supervisor is filled with anxiety over some issues outside the office or that our professor has a child in the hospital.
Of course, sometimes, we will reach the conclusion–the boss is really out to get me. That Christian sister or brother really doesn’t like me. That salesman really likes himself. But that does not mean all bosses are out to get me. Or that all churches are filled with hate and dislike. Or that all salesmen really like themselves. We cannot make assumptions like that.
Let’s live our lives, instead, by the motto “it makes sense, if you DO think about it.”