What a Difference a Cup of Coffee Makes?
There are more occasions than I care to admit; where I had a real good idea of who someone was, or what their motives were, only to find out later how wrong I was. It's so easy to pick up on nuances, and assume our impression of someone is as good as fact.
Someone seems disinterested in a conversation we are attempting to have with them, so we determine they are judgmental, or rude. Someone walks right past us in a narrow hallway, and as we look up and smile, they walk past completely blowing us off as if they didn't even see us, they clearly are selfish and snobby. We overhear part of a conversation when someone is talking about a mutual friend, and we decide they are a gossip.
I'm not saying we aren't right with some of these observations from time to time, what I am saying is, we definitely aren't always right.
The truth is, we can't ever completely know anyones thoughts or heart, not fully. If this is true, certainly we can't make accurate snap decisions about them with passing observations.
In 1 Corinthians 2:11 Paul talks about how it is impossible to know the heart of God, apart from the Spirit of God, but first makes a pretty obvious declaration, "For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?"
Perhaps the person we're attempting to have a conversation with is stressing over finances, and can't seem to concentrate on much else. Perhaps the person we pass in the hall has just walked out of a hurtful situation and wouldn't notice a volcano explosion, much less your smile. Perhaps that person talking about a friend was sharing a story out of concern or compassion for someone else, and had no heart to gossip whatsoever.
Again, sometimes we're right, sometimes people are ugly, that's true for others, and it's true for us too. We can't avoid that, it's an unfortunate part of humanity.
What we can do about this however, is have conversations with people to clear the unclear. Stop and ask them, "Did you see me in the hall yesterday? I was smiling, and you just walked past." You may find they needed that smile, and they are facing difficulty. Or you may find that you did something unintentionally that caused them to be cautious or untrusting toward you.
Relationships and people are complex, and they are so rewarding.
My advice is, take time to sit down and share a cup of coffee to talk about it. Choose to invest and investigate with people to see where you stand. You will find that your courage brings a greater depth to your relationships, and you'll likely find some areas for growth in your own life. You'll be surprised by what a difference a cup of coffee can make.