We’re about to finish a book in our Tuesday morning Bible Study here at CFC before we break for the summer. The book is Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. It’s a book that was on the New York Times bestseller list for over a decade, and one can categorize it as self-help (it’s not an explicitly Christian book, so some translation has been required.)
Don Miguel Ruiz outlines four agreements we can make in our lives, agreements that lead to personal freedom. They are:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
The agreement that I found the most helpful to explore was “don’t make assumptions.” As Ruiz states, “We make an assumption, we misunderstand, we take it personally, and we end up creating a whole big drama for nothing.” The reality is that most of us make assumptions all the time. And then we almost create a story in our minds that isn’t even true. To help address this situation, Ruiz encourages us to ask questions and make sure that we have clear communication. If you don’t understand, ask! Have the courage to ask questions and don’t assume that you know another person’s thoughts or motivations, even people with whom you have an especially close relationship.
I’m convinced that life would be easier if we learned how to better communicate with one another. None of us are mind readers after all. Seeking clarification and not making assumptions strikes me as a wise way to live. Sometimes it does take courage to ask questions (because let’s face it, nobody wants to look foolish.) But how can we possibly understand where each other is coming from if we don’t ask questions to truly understand? Don’t make assumptions—that’s not always easy. Just a thought, for this week.
(This Week’s Thoughts 6.6.19)