Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can transform your life.

Isn’t it so easy to assume we know what someone else is thinking or why he is acting a certain way?

Recently, Dave and I stopped at a beachside restaurant for a late lunch/early dinner. This particular restaurant served lunch from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 3:30 to 5:30 they had Fins Frenzy, a happy hour event during which they served small bites and our favorite sushi! We arrived just before 3 p.m. knowing we would have to wait but seats are first come first served so we found a place on the deck overlooking the water and prepared to wait. And we waited. And we waited.

Our server seemed particularly distracted and unwilling to make time to stop by and see what we wanted. It was easy to make assumptions about why he might be out of sorts. Maybe he was exhausted from a long shift (probably not since the restaurant had only been open three hours). Maybe he was new and unfamiliar with the restaurant’s vibe. Maybe he was sick. Maybe he was just a grump. Maybe he didn’t like the way we positioned the furniture and table. Maybe he was just not a good server.

We discussed asking him what had him distracted but decided to give him a break instead. We didn’t have to be anywhere and we certainly weren’t going to starve anytime soon. When we let it go, we were able to enjoy the afternoon and our view of the ocean while we waited in total comfort for our food and beverages.

Paul says it like this. No matter who we might encounter or what their disposition is, let peace and love rule.

14Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Colossians 3:14-15

Another evening I was putting my granddaughters to bed and read several books before settling them down to sleep. I laid down with the youngest until she fell asleep and then went to lay down with the oldest until she was sleeping. When I got up to go to Finley’s bed (the girls are in the same room), she asked me if I was mad. You see, we read a book on emotions and what your face looks like if you are experiencing a certain feeling. She thought my face looked mad, so she asked. I was glad she did and I received the question with gratitude. I thanked her for asking me and assured her I wasn’t. I said I didn’t know why my face looked mad. I believe that opened the door for her to learn to not make assumptions but to ask good questions instead.

Let’s be more like Finley and ask questions instead of making assumptions. You’ll be glad you did!

Don’t make assumptions!

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