“Assumicide leads to the death of relationships because we end up believing the worst about others.” (Taken from the article, When You Are Misunderstood, by Dr. Ray Pritchard) Wow has there ever been a more true statement? It’s amazing to me that when we are dealing with an issue in our lives God brings a statement, or a person that speaks to the very issue we are dealing with. That’s what happened with this statement. Cool!
Being misunderstood, misquoted, mistrusted hurts, especially if you weren’t aware, or were only minimally aware, that you were in the middle of the proverbial “crap storm”. When the crap storm becomes an F5 tornado it is likely the life is going to be sucked out of you. Yeah, that’s what it felt like. Was I completely innocent of all charges? Was anyone involved innocent? Nope. I admitted my transgressions, apologized, offered the olive branch, but alas none of that was enough, and relationships are now dead at the hands of “assumicide”.
So what happened? Little statements taken out of context, repeated, embellished, twisted to serve another’s purposes, tossed up in the air again and stomped until a “bad guy” is targeted as the cause of all the dissention. People are people and when we are feeling hurt because of something we heard someone else supposedly say, and then it’s repeated to others their perceptions further color the situation, and the end result is a tangled mess that often cannot be sorted out. Wrong conclusions are drawn based upon bits and pieces of information that seemingly prove the accusations to be true, and then we rally the troops as we draw the line in the sand. Either others will stand with us or against us.
It hurts. The closer the relationships the greater the pain. The “blamer” wants to hurt the one perceived to be the instigator of the problem because it may feel that motivations or actions have been challenged; many times the “blamed” wants to be heard, to fight back against the falsehoods, to bring understanding, to heal the fractured relationships. The “blamed” one’s honor is in question, trust has been compromised, a reputation is at risk.
So what do we do? I really don’t have any answers. Speaking from our hearts to bring understanding may work, but then again it may not. Sometimes no matter what we say the words won’t be heard and received in the vain they were intended. Sometimes people have hardened their hearts and decided no matter what is said forgiveness will not be given. Sometimes people want to believe the worst about others. As the “blamed” sometimes we have to accept that we cannot “fix” the relationships and we need to move on. That can be a hard pill to swallow. We cannot control how others act, what they say, or what they choose to believe. The only ones we have control over is ourselves.
So then the question becomes, “what is my response going to be?” We can be angry and harden our hearts, or we can draw closer to God and let Him fight our battles. That’s hard, though, isn’t it? We WANT to put dissention to rest, recoup our reputation, and to be trusted again. The Bible tells us that a good reputation is worth more than gold or silver so it is to be protected. When our reputation is in question we want to do what is needed to restore its good name.
Drawing closer to God means we are willing to hear His wisdom in the situation. Maybe that will mean we permanently break from the relationships where we once felt loved, cared for, and understood. God often draws us into deeper waters in times like these, the course of our lives change in small and big ways. I’m at that place. I am walking into deeper waters awaiting God’s direction. It can be a lonely place, but also a place of depth and learning. I can’t say that I am excited at this point to find out what the next steps for me in the grand tapestry of life will be; in some ways I am still in mourning for what is lost. I am also mourning for what I thought I had, but in the end did not. So, here I stand at the grave of the relationships lost to “assumicide”…….