As-sume or Ass-u-me?

It’s amazing how much a word, perspective or idea can change when you put the emphasis on the right syllable.

As most of you know, this past year I accepted an opportunity to be a founding member in a new company – a Cell Phone Service Provider named Solavei.

As with anything new, my involvement with the company was met with mixed emotions, perspectives and even criticism from others.  Some loved the idea, some early on concerned that Solavei was a scam, others who didn’t understand the structure of the compensation plan concerned that “the compensation plan couldn’t be sustained by the low price point”.  Still a few others had a concern that I was attempting to “Get rich quick” and was losing sight of my ministry aspirations, while a few others simply didn’t like something about the company (substantiated or not) and as a result suddenly had a problem with me simply because I was now involved in it…

It was definitely interesting to see and hear all of the different input from different people… to be fair, for the most part, people were happy for me even if at the time they didn’t see a fit for themselves in the company, but there were a handful who were very vocal about their disapproval, interestingly enough though, not one “vocal” person asked me why I was doing it… It was as if there was an expectation for me to explain myself or justify my decision to all of them, but I was absolutely amazed that amongst all the opinions and even judgments by some, so many assumed to know what the score was, yet none asked why… And had they asked, the answer I’m certain, would have challenged what most assumed…

For the record, the company has been a huge blessing for me and my family, and proved to be a “Godsend” in my circumstances, I did the right thing, and I believed that it was God’s leading from the beginning after much prayer and consideration…but that is a diversion from where I’m going with this writing…

There is a huge lesson in this one example.  Especially with Christians, there is this prevailing mindset that I think borders on some kind of an insanity that they just “think they know” everything about everything.  I’ve seen so many pass judgments on people who are walking through circumstances that they could never even come close to understanding, or maybe they do understand in part, but could not possibly understand all that the person is going through but they assume to know why and how people feel the way they do, and what “They should do in the circumstance” while never asking, yet seemingly ever assuming… and it’s a huge miss.

I’ve been that guy too, like Paul said, “I’m chief amongst them” and probably still am in many regards, but not as much as I used to be.  My goodness, when I think about being a “know-it-all” I can remember when my picture was listed amongst the the top 10 on en-Wikipedia…

However, I learned this lesson and saw my own fault in it over the course of the past several years as I experienced my own very “dark time” for a very long time after being forced into medical retirement following an attempt on my life in the line of duty and I’d like to share a little with you…

Throughout the course of a single year, I lost my income (I’m in a right to work state with no police union so no pension or monetary compensation), I lost my insurance, I lost my side business (Because I could no longer continue to manage it while going through physical therapy and recovering emotionally w/PTSD), I lost my strength, I lost my confidence, I lost feeling significant… yet there were still two areas where I found a sense of worth, I still had a lot of influence with people through my online “Tattooed Preacher” ministry that I had been doing for several years and I still was able to complete a thought in writing.

So I continued to blog about what I knew was true, and I continued to share what I knew about the Love of Jesus with people who contacted me online.  It was wild because, many times, I was struggling with the very things that the people who contacted me were struggling with, but I was able to share with them what I knew was truth, even when in my own life I was having to work through the very issue they were talking to me about… and somehow, God used me to encourage them and myself at the same time… I guess that if God can use an Ass to talk through (See the story of Balaam), He could use me but admittedly, I spent a lot of nights in tears.

During that time someone contacted me online that I assumed was a God ordained set-up so that I could help them through their hard time or that God would use me to teach them in some way… but what I found later is that God intended to use them to teach me as much or more from that relationship than I could offer them…

This person was so bold and direct that initially I was turned off and didn’t care to even associate with them, but as time went on, their boldness and direct confrontation gave me occasion to actually see beyond my own perspectives and actually challenged me to think and see others outside the box of my own experiences.

I found myself on many occasions being directly challenged when I conveyed a thought with a response of “See, that’s exactly what I’m talking about, you answer with a cliché’ like you think you know but you have no idea!”  Every assumption I made was challenged and eventually I found myself questioning what was painfully obvious to them “why I thought I knew so much about things that I could not possibly identify with or know about”.  In that season, I learned that it’s ok to say “I don’t know”… and that I don’t have to know everything about everything… Go figure huh?

During that time, when I was going through so much difficulty of my own, I remember asking God “Don’t you think I’ve been in this season a long time” and the response that I heard in that “still, small voice” leveled me… “Aaron, you had a lot to unlearn”…

Don’t we all…

I’m thankful for that bold “punk”, willing to challenge me and stand up to my dominant, self-righteous, know-it-all personality and teach me what I needed to know and unlearn in order to be a more effective leader even when I just wanted to flick them in the head…I’m better for having known them and I would like to challenge you today with the same scenario that they challenged me with… learn to ask the one word question “why” before assuming to know… because the truth of the matter is, you probably don’t… and the answer to what you don’t know may very well be a catalyst to your own development…

2 Comments

  1. j86ant

    Good food for thought!

    Reply
  2. "Punk"

    Umm……wow! “You are more than you have become!” 😉

    Oh, and I’ve read these blogs over and over and over..about dang time you get back to writing! Geezzz..slacker!

    Reply

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