Filling in the Blanks

One of the first testing methods we’re exposed to in grade school is fill in the blanks. I’m confident that most of us have left one of those lines blank when we turned our test into the teacher. Why was that answer left blank…because we probably didn’t know the right answer. How many times have you attempted to answer a fill in the blank question and gotten it wrong? Plenty, right?

Yet, I believe we forget this margin of error when it comes to filling in the blanks in people’s lives. We think we know how to fill in those blanks of knowledge, as we’re assembling the “whole picture” of another person’s life; never even imagining that we may be wrong. Do we think we know what a person is thinking, how they’re feeling, what they’re experiencing, by a post on Facebook, a Tweet, or a text? Maybe we hear something about someone, or we observe something about someone and we decide that we know more than the observation, or words reveal.

Let me simply caution myself and others that such activities may be sinful. We may be engaging in what Paul calls “…evil suspicions (evil surmising, KJV)…” (1 Timothy 6:4). I’m well aware of the context of this passage as Paul describes the characteristics of those who oppose truth. However, who can deny the, “controversy”, the “dissension”, the “constant friction”, caused by those of us who engage in filling the blanks.

You may have noticed that I’ve included myself in this admonition. I do so, because I need to be constantly vigilant against allowing myself to drift into areas of presuming that I know something, with no evidence or only part of the story. Maybe before we “fill in the blank”, we should have a conversation with the person or persons involved in order to get a more complete picture.

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