assumptions we make

Written by Mark Lafler

B.A., Global University; M.C.S., Regent College I am currently serving as a youth minister at our church in Sarasota, FL. I am married to Tera (15 Years +) and we have 3 beautiful daughters.

October 5, 2011

Sometimes people are rude.  Some people barely treat other people like they’re human, let alone created in the image of God.

After a few years of working off and on at a pizza restaurant I have come to realize how much our assumptions impact the way we treat other people.  For example, the environment that people meet other people in impacts their assumptions.

At the pizza place, some customers are very rude and nasty.  Perhaps the order was not quite fast enough or the price was not clear when they made the purchase.  They start speaking down to you as if you’re incompetent and uneducated.

Sometimes I have wanted to tell them that I have a graduate degree and I am an ordained minister.  However, this would not be beneficial, and totally not right.  I wonder if they would treat me the same if they met me in the environment of my church office.

At the pizza place, I work with people with college degrees and people working on their G.E.D.s; sixteen-year-olds and fifty-something-year-olds.  We come from all different walks of life, however, a large group of customers presume to speak to us as if they know how smart and competent we are.

This experience gets me thinking about the assumptions I make when I meet people who are different from me.  What assumptions do I make based on the environment of the situation?  What assumptions do I make about the way people dress, their skin color, or the language they speak?

Although I may get frustrated at the way some customers treat me at the pizza place, I should take that as a learning experience to question myself about my own prejudices.  What kind of message does my body language, attitude, and willingness to serve send to the people I find myself with?

Do I treat people how I want to be treated?  Do I forgive other people’s mistakes (God knows I make mistakes too)?

Do I get frustrated when things take too long for my liking?  Do I show that frustration to the person across the counter making minimum-wage, with no health-insurance, little savings, and going through a nasty divorce?  Maybe I treat them rudely or I don’t give them a decent tip.

Perhaps for most of us our frustrations and difficulties in life are only as difficult as those of the next person I meet.

Lord Jesus, show me my weaknesses so that I may become more like you for I want to treat others as you do.  Amen.


  1. Gina C.

    You are very right – and I think it takes BEING in those shoes for someone to see how they treat people. I am on the receiving end of this type of thing at work frequently from parents who see me in my cubicle as “lesser” than coworkers with offices and because I have less money. It reminds me every day to never make assumptions…
    But it’s even harder to remember to not make assumptions when someone is rude, cuts you off in traffic, etc. to think that we all have bad days, and perhaps this is the day they learned their grandfather has a tumor, or their friend was killed in an accident, or that they are dealing with bills or divorce or God-only-knows.

    • Mark Lafler

      Thanks for the comments Gina.  It can be so hard to keep cool when someone cuts you off in traffic (as you mention), but so important to remember to treat people with respect and purpose.

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. Andy Carlson

    Amen!!…..Trying to remember it is not about me…..after all who am I…but created by the highest of all…..not being reactive is the most difficult……responding (and feeling) not as I would, but as They would…the Trinity in me…and me in the Trinity…….keeping myself out of the way of his work in me….a constant struggle…..Onward….


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assumptions we make

by Mark Lafler time to read: 2 min