Noun 1. Preconceived notion – an opinion formed beforehand without adequate evidence; “He did not even try to confirm his preconceptions.
Matthew 7:1-4, 12-14
‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? ‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. ‘Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it. For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
I think we can all agree that the world is full of lovers and haters. We regularly see both every day. Since the beginning of our attempting to work together as humans, both have been present, providing their examples to watch, remember, learn from, review and ultimately decide if we will discard or incorporate them into our lives. I cannot change human nature. It’s who we are! I can only decide how I am going to live with it. I have always tried to meet each person where they are, starting with me, right now, no preconceived notions. Where they have been and where they are going are only a shadow of where they are now. Each moment fleeting, allowing for constant change. Some might call that risky business, but I call it meeting the world head on, face to face. That said, I, intellectually, have no preconceived notions about race, gender or any other individuality used to denigrate humankind. The only preconceived notions that haunt me were planted in my memory many years ago by my teachers. That is how we learn to embrace and believe in truth or lies, fact or opinion, justice or injustice, love or hate. These notions, like infertile seeds, exist only as shadows of bygone comments that I did not embrace, that I chose to ignore. Though they will always be there, they no longer have any power over me.
Ever-loving and compassionate God, source of all, you have so graciously given us the free will to decide how we are going to live with others on this Earth, our home, the heaven you intended. Thank you for the many blessings we receive daily, even during these difficult and troubling times. Grant us your grace to see that we are all your children, no different in your sight. Help us to look at each other and meet each other where we are, without preconceived notions blocking the path of love that you intend for us. Please continue to show us your ways, so that we may always strive to be kind and compassionate as we walk through our days together. Amen.
Focus for the Day:
I will walk the path of love with all my brothers and sisters, near and far, where they are. Praise God for making it possible.