My Grace-Full Life

12.22.18 Praise & Prayer Prompt: Assumptions, Stories, & The Cracker Barrel

PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Happy Weekend Before Christmas!
Since many will be traveling, or getting ready to travel, I’m going to share my absolute favorite road-trip game.
All you need is a Cracker Barrel and your imagination.
The walls of all Cracker Barrel locations are decorated with a hodgepodge of pictures and antiques.
The game is to select a section of wall, and make up a story about how all that stuff fits together.
For instance, there may be a family portrait hanging beside a vintage ad for washing machines with a collection of bubble gum wrappers beside it, strategically placed beside a vintage washboard and an axe.
Your job is to make up a story about it all.
And use every piece.
It’s a fun way to be silly, especially if you have a group and everyone takes their turn on a different bit of wall space.
While my version is a game, we often apply this to real life, don’t we?
We see someone and make all kinds of assumptions about them.
We mentally decide their background, their successfulness, their financial stability, etc.
Whether we know them or not.
As families gather together in the coming days, it’s easy to assume the details about Cousin Fred’s life…
Shake our heads at the way Aunt Hazel has messed up her kids…
And pity the way poor Uncle Joe can’t hold down a job.
Making up stories in Cracker Barrel is fun; making up assumptions about people is dangerous.
Proverbs is 18:2 says, “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”
We get caught up in our assumptions, leaving no room for understanding the whys behind a situation, and treat our opinions as fact.
It gets especially dangerous when we, as Christians, begin making assumptions about others relationships with God or whether they are even candidates to hear the Gospel!
(Spoiler alert! EVERYONE is a candidate to hear the Gospel.)
As far as the assumptions about others relationships with God, this gets a bit tricky.
I’m guilty of this too…
It’s a fine line to walk because on one hand, we can’t be judgmental (Matthew 7:1-5).
On the other, we have an obligation to our brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage each other’s individual walks (Proverbs 27:17; Galatians 6:1-2).
That’s another topic for another day though…
Today’s point is to remind ourselves that making up stories needs to be left to a giggling group of road-weary travelers at the closest Cracker Barrel.
Today, as you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to help you focus on understanding others rather than making assumptions about them and their circumstances.
Ask Him to help you be a model of Christ-like love as you spend time with your family.

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