It is not one of the deadly sins, but it should be. It is one of many precursors in judging others and sentencing them to a spiritual divorce. It is the driving force in asking too much from others and the leading cause of forced apologies. It is the root of misunderstandings and the resulting shame and hurt it produces. It is entirely fitting of our fallen human nature since its ugly head first appeared at the fall of man. It is what got the Pharisees and Apostles in trouble. It is and will always be the hidden source of all scandals, betrayals, lies and crimes.
What is it? We assume too much.
It drove the Lord nuts! It drives us nuts! Assuming too much from ourselves and from others will break hearts and drive a wedge between relationships. It is the leading cause of too many deaths. “Medicine? Who needs it! I’ll be fine.” It is what boys and teenagers do best: overestimate their abilities and underestimate the dangers. They simply assume too much.
Assumption: He (She) loves me! Fact: No vow has been taken. Assumption: I can’t have this baby! Not now! Fact: The baby is here, now.
“Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, ‘Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ? But we know where he is from…When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.’”
The people of Jerusalem assumed they knew where the Lord was from, but they were wrong. And to admit your wrong is just as unlikely as assuming you are wrong. So, in reality, our problem is not that we assume too much, it is that we assume too much that we are right!
This sin of the unwise will eventually lead to the very wicked men of Jerusalem.
“Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training” (Wis 2:12). This is from the book of Wisdom. It sounds awfully familiar. First of all, it sounds like the men, according to Plato, that put Socrates to death. They despised him for questioning their training of youth. The so-called scholars put Socrates to death because he made them look like children (students) rather than teachers. It is the same truth with the Lord. The wicked put him to death because they could find no cause in him. By doing so, their assumptions (he must be evil) lead to an error in judgment and the death of our Savior.
We crucify others because we assume too much.
May we never forget: The Lord is close to the brokenhearted. It is better to be broken with the Lord then to come full circle without him. It is better to suffer injustice in silence than to blast the horn of demands with deceit. Yes, it is better to be arrested, tortured and crucified with the Lord than to be left alone to lick your wounds and swallow your own pride (words). The Cross is a vivid reminder that things don't always go as planned; that wicked people may get the upper hand, and that even the Lord of all days had a bad day. But it also teaches us that love is much more powerful than death or evil, and that God always has the last word.
“Let us condemn him to a shameful death; for according to his own words, God will take care of him.” Those who put the Lord to death should have known better. May we never assume too much and choke on our words. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me!