Assumptions, Meltdowns, Reconciliation, & A Scene From Rocky

January 13, 2014


I love movies. A lot. In my opinion, one of the greatest movies ever made is the original ‘Rocky’ (1976) starring Sylvester Stallone. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen this film. I’m sure it’s way more than I’d like to admit publicly. Anyway, there are a lot of great nuggets in this film that regularly come to mind for me. There is one scene from this film that I’d like to share with you in today’s post that could greatly affect your relationships and the way you deal with conflict.


You know what happens when we assume don’t you?

We make an ass out of you & me (ass-u-me).

This is exactly what Rocky and His trainer Micky did in the film ‘Rocky’, and it led to a major conflict. Before I show you this scene from the film, let me give you a quick rundown.

Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone) was an average club boxer from a down and out part of Philadelphia. He had been eeking out a meager living for years fighting on the weekends, and collecting money for a local mobster during the week. Rocky’s real desire was to make it as a professional fighter, however. He had been training at a gym run by Micky (played by Burgess Meredith) for several years. Micky was a boxing great in the 1930s and 40s who now made his living training young, up and coming fighters.

Over the years that Rocky had been training at Micky’s gym, Rocky had desired to be mentored and managed by the elderly Micky.  Micky, however, hadn’t taken Rocky seriously. He had made some assumptions about Rocky that caused him to have a low view of him. He assumed that Rocky was not interested in taking boxing seriously. He assumed that Rocky was simply a local hoodlum that lacked motivation in life. The low point in their relationship came when Micky took Rocky’s locker away from him and gave it to a fighter who was seen as having better potential.

Soon after that, however, Rocky was approached with the offer of his lifetime. The professional heavy weight boxing champion of the world was looking to give a local no name fighter from Philadelphia a chance to fight him for the world title. The champ chose Rocky. When Micky heard about the extraordinary opportunity that had been given to Rocky, he came over to Rocky’s apartment to offer to train and mentor Him. As you can imagine, Rocky was not impressed. Micky’s mistreatment of Rocky over the years was rooted in false assumptions. This also caused Rocky to make some false assumptions about Micky. He assumed that Micky didn’t really care about him, and that he was simply trying to profit off of Rocky’s big break.

Meltdown & Reconciliation

In the following scene, Rocky lets out a lot of pent up frustration toward Micky after Micky came over to offer his services. After Rocky’s meltdown, the scene ends with a beautiful reconciliation that I’ll talk about after the clip. (if you’re reading this by email, you’ll need to view this directly on the blog to watch the video clip)

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Although Rocky had a meltdown, so to speak, he was able to communicate what he had been feeling toward Micky for years. After Rocky expressed his hurt and anger, he could see Micky’s true heart. This led to the reconciliation. Seeing through false assumptions, and seeing the true heart of a person is necessary for reconciliation to take place.

Had Micky not made those assumptions about Rocky in the beginning, he might have seen Rocky’s true heart much sooner. Had Rocky communicated his hurt and desire for relationship with Micky years earlier, this meltdown that was rooted in Rocky’s own assumptions of Micky could have also been avoided. If you are familiar with the Rocky film series, you know that this breakthrough was the beginning of a rich relationship between the two that would last for years.

Remembering this scene from Rocky reminded me of the devastating affects of negative assumptions. When we view one another through the lens of Jesus Christ, false assumptions fade away and the path of communication and reconciliation open up.


Jamal Jivanjee

Jamal Jivanjee

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15 responses to Assumptions, Meltdowns, Reconciliation, & A Scene From Rocky

  1. The beauty of reconciliation is that it builds, edifies, and makes new, or renews that which was broken. In this powerful scene there is raw emotion, and from this the hearts are revealed. In the end we know there was reconciliation between Rocky and Micky.

    Today this reconciliation is in motion, for the ultimate “Rocky” has made this possible through His shed blood.

    The beauty of this ministry is that it is forward thinking, filled with grace and found ‘in’ Love. This ministry is straight from our Father heart. This ministry is what unites, restores, rebuilds, and renews. This ministry is expressed ‘in’ Love, and is powered by Love, this is Jesus Christ gathering His sheep.

    “The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” ~ Paul

    Love loves all until all is found ‘in’ Love

    Thank you my very dear brother for your ministry of Love!

  2. Thanks Jamal for sharing this blog post. It’s funny that Mary and I have been going through all of the Rocky movies for the last several nights. Yes, I agree that they are rich with revelation of the Lord and His house! There are many themes that run through the whole series that definitely show Christ in God’s eternal purpose. I would definitely recommend them even if you don’t like boxing or Sylvester Stallone. The movies aren’t really about boxing anyway!

    • Hey, that’s great timing! I totally agree. Those movies are not about boxing at all:) Glad you liked the post, and thanks for the comment!

  3. Dear Jamal
    Your post today reminds me of something I read some time ago. It says that true love cannot exists without truth, but truth cannot function without love. Our Lord told us to always speak the truth in love.
    Blessings XX

    • Thanks for reading, and for your comment Mia. A friend of mine used to say that being in love is a prerequisite to speaking what is true. That, in my opinion, would disqualify most of what is spoken and written about today. Speaking the ‘truth’ is quite different than simply telling someone what they are doing that we think is wrong. It is helpful to know that Jesus Christ Himself is the personification of love and truth. Expressing Jesus Christ is the same as expressing truth & love (John 14:6).

  4. In 1972 I had a remotely similar experience to this scene in Rocky. I was working 3rd shift in Inventory Control with Bob in Jenkintown PA. We both attended the same local church. Working together every night, our relationship had become pretty deep. One evening around 3am we were talking about the church and out of the blue Bob blurted out, “You are like a politician when you pinch babies’ cheeks, trying to get on the parents’ good side.” I was shocked, and couldn’t believe he was saying this. I calmly replied to him, “Bob, the reason I pinch babies’ cheeks is because I love these little ones and they are so beautiful. I don’t do it to get votes or to butter up the parents.” He was silent. Then I asked him, “How long have you held these thoughts against me?” “About two years,” he replied. “If something I did bothered you, why didn’t you come to me a long time ago and ask why I pinched babies’ cheeks?” Again, he was silent. He then admitted that holding those thoughts was wrong, and he apologized. This awkward event ended up strengthening our relationship. I saw Bob in 2003 in New York, and it was like our relationship just picked up right where we left off when I moved away in 1975. Assumptions are usually relationship killers. “I just assumed that….”

    • Jon,

      Thanks for sharing this story. Although you had worked and spent a lot of time with this person, it seems his assumptions about you kept him from truly knowing you. After those false assumptions were dealt with, your relationship with him was able to enter into a state of reality where it could grow and flourish.

      • Your comment brought another incident to mind. In 1979 I was speaking in Houston on The New Exodus, The New Command, and The New Spirit. I was told that there was a brother who was tempted to come to the meetings, but would not because he was told by a church leader that I was dangerous and taught error. He had bought into these assumptions. So after the gatherings were over some brothers persuaded him to have breakfast with a group of us before I returned to Nashville. He sat next to me and was pretty fidgety. I asked him what his concerns were and he shared a few, based on what the church leader had said about me. I started drawing some diagrams on the place mat in front of us showing how everything was about Christ. He actually got excited about what I was sharing, and indicated that he wanted to hear the sessions he had missed. He ended up realizing that the assumptions about me that he had taken in as true turned out to be totally false. He told the leader that he had bacon and eggs with me, and that his assumptions about my beliefs were way off-base. You can imagine how that was received.

  5. James Douglas (Schlosser). January 14, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Thanks Jamal for this post and the movie clip. Great reminder of how powerful reconciliation is and how change comes. Now I gotta get Rocky to see it again. 🙂
    Bless you brother.

  6. Assumptions CAN be relationship killers unless there is REVELATION. When there is revelation there is OPPORTUNITY for reconciliation. If reconciliation occurs then the relationship can be stronger than it was even in the beginning. I speak from experience and hopefully will not go down THAT road again (the ASSUMPTION trail). Great post Jamal! Keep ’em coming!

  7. yea I liked the way MARK BURNETT put it–when my wife decided to divorce me I tried to tell her that she should only do so by revelation from Christ and not by assumptions that she had in her own mind but she does not know what revelations are–so any way the divorce went through and then Christ revealed to me well you never asked me when you married her if this was my choice for you or not you just assumed it–so I learned that assumptions are dog-dung.

  8. Assumptions only exist where a relationship is lacking, a lack of connection in knowing one another. This assuming can only happen when there is a lack of relationship. After all, if two people know one another’s hearts then a summing would not be an issue. Therefore, coming together and truly knowing one another in openness prevents any assumption. It’s all about Relationship, not words describing the relationship nor platitudes but the real Life together.

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