“Suspicion often creates what it suspects.” CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
I’d read the book, although it’s not my favorite by Lewis, but I don’t remember the quote. When I encountered it recently, I thought, “Yes! It sure does.
“I’ve been on both sides of suspicion—being the suspected and the suspectee. And I can confirm it gets us into trouble. I experienced a marriage decimated because a mind was allowed to go unfiltered and unchecked for too long. When we don’t share, when we don’t ask questions, when we don’t invite accountability, we grow in imagination and reality fades.
I certainly think suspicion is important. We need to put together warning signs for ourselves and others. We need to take inventory. But then we need to investigate, confront, invite, and move forward. We cannot be honest with ourselves or anyone else if what we believe and convince ourselves of is based on suspicion and not facts.
Suspicion is important in the context of doubts. We need to be honest about the doubts and concerns we have. Then we need to go digging. We need to explore with others so that there is some balance and accountability involved in the process of correction and growth.
Suspicion can help us grow healthily as we sort. It can also cause us to let the wrong things grow. We can suspect good and bad. We can suspect correctly and incorrectly. We can suspect with humility or pride. Our suspicion can strengthen and it can destroy.
Be honest with what you are suspecting today and what you have suspected over time. Be prepared to be challenged. Be prepared to be wrong. Be prepared to accept correction and grow.
You’ll be better for it.