I was listening to my favorite podcast a few weeks ago and heard one of the ladies say the phrase, “The sin of presumption.” I had never processed that presumption was sin so, it caught my attention. Then, later that week, I was listening to a sermon about the sin of jumping to conclusions. Unfortunately, I am gifted at this particular sin and I think God was trying to get my attention.
The definition of presumption is: “to assume that something is true.” I guarantee that most of what we presume is not awesome, encouraging stuff. My brain is really good at deciding weird things without any facts. Let’s say my kids have a bad day… I can quickly (and creatively) write a whole scary story about their future. That future story comes out of fear and not from a place of peace, faith, or trust. I want to discuss two areas where negative presumption affects our lives.
- We presume negative things about ourselves.
Here’s a perfect example: there was a day that I could not get ahold of my husband. He wasn’t getting my calls or texts and I started to panic. In a span of about 2 minutes my mind had dreamed up that he had died because he was in a wreck with a semi. I imagined myself wearing black at his funeral. Then I was trying to figure out how I would support my children because I have stayed home with them for years. How would I get them to school and me to work without him? Where would I work? How would I even wake my kids up in the mornings without him? Who would mop? (It’s not going to be me!) Would my kids even like me if he wasn’t around? He’s the fun one! And then… you guys… I seriously stressed about who would catch a mouse if one got in the house?! Do you want to know how many mice have gotten into our home in the 13 years we’ve been married?? Z-E-R-O. I dreamed up a whole scenario in which I was a helpless widow, trying to catch a mouse. Do you want to know what my hubby was doing while I was busy grieving him? He was on the phone with someone and just didn’t see my call or text.
I know that story is completely ridiculous but it felt so real in the moment. My blood pressure rose and my heart was pumping so hard that I could hear it it in ears. There was an actual physical response in my body to the stress of this presumptious lie. Presumptions are dangerous. They rob us of joy and gratitude and they color how we interpret situations. We can’t be present in the moment when we are making up presumptions.
2. We presume negative things about others.
With everything going on in our world, presumptions are running ramped. “Well, that’s just 2020, nothing good happens in 2020.” “If ____ wins the election, then the country is going to implode.” Both sides are presuming this “truth” about the other side. The divide between values has gotten extremely wide. So, the assumptions about those on the opposite side have also gotten more intense.
Here is what God has to say about the sin of presumption:
“Also keep Your servant back from presumptuous sins;
Let them not rule over me;
Then I will be innocent,
And I will be blameless of great wrongdoing,” (Psalm 19:13 NASB).
“For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has also rejected you from being king,” (1 Samuel 15:23 ESV).
“Anyone who presumes to override or twist the decision handed down by the priest or judge who was acting in the Presence of God, your God, is as good as dead—root him out, rid Israel of the evil. Everyone will take notice and be impressed. That will put an end to presumptuous behavior,” (Deuteronomy 17:12-14 MSG).
Obviously God has some strong feelings about presumptions! My husband teaches that fear is a prophetic word in the reverse. It’s having faith, but in the enemy’s lies and his version of the future. Presumptions are the counterfeit of faith.
We presume things all the time without even realizing it. It’s just what our brains do – take in the information and then make judgements. But I’m suggesting that we can train our brains to assume positive, hopeful things instead of the worst. I found an article about a man who challenged himself to assume the best about other people for a week. This is what he concluded after the experiment:
“Granted, it’s more difficult to assume the best in others if your relationships have been hardened by time, injury, and unmet expectations. But if you’re committed to maintaining and cultivating the relationship, it’s crucial that you try. By countering your negative internal dialogue, you become more compassionate. You begin to lean on more logical explanations, taking into account other people’s different circumstances. That long-delayed text response? Your friend was probably dealing with a toddler with a fever or was at an emotional low. It very likely had nothing to do with you.” – JOD
God has given us the amazing ability to dream about our future. Just like every blessing that He has given us, He has put up parameters around what is appropriate so that we will keep our minds pure and fixed on Him. This is the parameter around for His future for us:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope,” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).
God’s plans for us (and those around us) are good, holy, pure, kind, and beautiful beyond our comprehension. What if we chose to actually believe Him?