18th March 2011

Jumping To Conclusions

“Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:”
Luke 6:37 (KJV)

At Children’s Church, they were learning about right and wrong. The teacher asked, “If I were to slip my hand into a man’s pocket and take his wallet with all his money, what would I be?” Little Johnny raised his hand and with a confident smile, and blurted out, “You’d be his wife!”

Did you, like me, assume that the answer would be ‘a thief’?  Sometimes we need a little more information before deciding a matter. Proverbs 18:13 warns, “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” We need to make sure we have all the facts and that they are correct. Matthew 18:16 says establish a matter in the mouth of two or three witnesses—get both sides of the story.

Even after we have taken time to get all the facts, we might consider giving the benefit of the doubt. Remember 1 Samuel 16:7, which tells us, “…man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”  We should bear in mind that, “…with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:” (Matthew 7:2).

Even the facts can lead to wrong conclusions. Things are not always what they seem at first, as we learn from the story at the beginning, and if we jump to conclusions too soon, we can embarrass ourselves and hurt or harm others.

Help us not to jump to conclusions, Father in Heaven, but to judge righteous judgment, giving the benefit of doubt as well as grace.

Study by Nancy Silcox

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