Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Preconceived Notions

Have you ever had an idea of what something or someone was going to be like before you even saw them?  Have you ever envisioned how you think a certain event should occur without even stepping foot at the event first?  Well, I can tell you that these are called "preconceived notions" and we all have them.

According to TheFreeDictionary.com, a preconceived notion is "an opinion formed beforehand without adequate evidence" or it could be "a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty".  It is our human nature create these notions.  We have HUGE imaginations and we can look to the movies to see the results of these imaginations.  Have you ever looked at something which had a few pieces missing, but even with the missing pieces you could visualize the entire item as though they were not missing?  That is your human mind at work!

My Preconceived Notions
I am from Eastern NC and even though it is considered the South, I had reservations and ideas about what the "Deep" South would be like.  Television played a huge part in my opinions as well as the Civil Rights Movement.  To me, I wanted no part of South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, or Georgia. I had preconceived notions that if you drove through those areas (not to mention living there), you would face heavy racial discrimination and could be possibly killed (I mean no offense to all the good folk in these places).  I use to think that me driving down the road in Alabama would attract the attention of the KKK and I could be killed.  It may sound silly, but those were my ideas of what the "Deep" south was like and I am pretty sure others may have had the same idea.

The reality is that while there is still racism in those areas, it is no where as bad as it use to be.  Needless to say, I have been to Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and driven through Alabama and no one eyeballed me or hoped in their trucks and pulled out rifles to take me down.  I have actually enjoyed myself in these places.  Historically, my notions were correct, but today they are less likely to happen.  I just had to go to the places and see that things are not as bad as I believed.

It's Good But Can Be Bad
It is great to imagine and sometimes it is a fun game to make some assumptions about certain things to see if we are correct.  Where we go wrong is when our thoughts and view points about things we have never experienced hinder us from doing many great things in life.  We can even dislike someone before even getting to know them because "something just ain't right about them".  Well, how would you know?  Have you talked to them?  They may be thinking the same thing about you! 

The good thing is that we have a God and a Son who does not think this about us.  Many people have preconceived notions about Jesus Christ and Christianity before even understanding who He is. You cannot say you do not like something if you have never tried it...you cannot say that you do not like someone if you have never gotten to know them.  If you do not know who Christ is, I encourage you to get to know Him.  After you get to know Him and understand Him, then you can form an opinion based on the facts.

What are your ideas and beliefs about God that hinders you from getting to know him today? 

"Taste and see that the LORD is good..." (Psalm 34:8)


Antoine E. Hall

Blog:      http://toinebo.blogspot.com
Twitter:     http://www.twitter.com/AntoineHall

"It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect." - 2 Samuel 22:33
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