#1. Be impeccable with your word
The Bible says let your yes, be yes and your no, be no. (Matthew 5:37)
#2. Don't take anything personally.
The Word encourages us to not be offended easily. (Ecc. 7:21
#3. Don't make assumptions
Proverbs warns us that a FOOL answers a matter before both sides are heard. (Proverbs 18:13)
#4. Always do your best.
We are told to strive towards the mark and run the race set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)
These are adapted from something called "The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I always like to align things with God's word before I promote, believe, or let something take root in my mind.
I don't know who Don Miguel Ruiz is or who he is influenced by -- but his words line up with scripture.
I think #3 is probably the one that sticks out to me the most right now because of all the assumptions being made around the world right now -- and usually by people who have NO PERSONAL EXPERIENCE with what the other person has gone through or had happen to them in their lives.
Assumptions are not wise, smart, powerful, superior or anything good -- they show your arrogance, apathy and lack of compassion.
Basically, you are presenting yourself as some sort of mind-reader or even worse, as omniscient -- which only belongs to God.
Read what this writer had to say about assumptions: (emphasis is mine)
"It’s easy to make assumptions. All you need is incomplete information about a situation. And an unwillingness to ask the questions you need to complete the information. In the absence of complete information, you have to fill in the blanks yourself.
You fill in the blanks with YOUR interpretation of what you see or hear. Your interpretation comes from past experiences that seem similar. It comes from your past experiences, and also from those you’ve heard about from others.
Armed with your information, you connect dots that aren’t there. You can’t help doing this because you’re missing relevant information. In trying to make sense of the situation, you make connections between today and the past. Connections that don’t really exist. You jump to conclusions that are wrong."
She goes on to say this:
"If assumptions are incorrect when dealing with rational matters, ponder this. What happens when emotions come into play?
All hell breaks loose. You see, emotions arrive with many sensitive buttons. These buttons are the places where you got hurt in the past. Your memory has stored this past pain. And activates it whenever your nervous system recognizes anything that feels painfully familiar.
Once activated, you react as if you’re experiencing that same pain again. Your old pain feels as real today as it did when you got hurt. Your present situation doesn’t even need to be the same as the past one that hurt you.
When those emotional buttons get pressed, the resulting dot-connecting is rarely kind. The assumptions you make in this state have one thing in mind: Lashing out in some way. To repel or hurt someone with unkind and disrespectful words presented as fact."
She asserts that "assumptions are an easy out" and I agree with her. It lets you relieve yourself of any responsibility to get to know someone or understand their situation.