This isn’t the kind of jumping children love to do but the kind that can get you into BIG trouble. No jumping to conclusions and condemning another.
My Bible Helps puts this jumping to conclusions as mainly between neighbors. But Jesus teaches us that every man is our neighbor. There are MANY things that go on in the lives of others that we don’t see nor do we understand. Unless we take the time to talk with ‘our neighbors’ we cannot be certain of the truth of the matter.
THIS IS NOT instructions to ignore crimes you witness being committed! If you see someone beating on another, holding them at gunpoint, or killing someone DON’T approach them to inquire about what you saw. THIS is a time for the police to intervene.
Back to what this is really talking about. Suppose you see your ‘neighbor’ coming and going from somewhere you think they shouldn’t. Rather than making assumptions as to what they are doing there, talk to them. Unless you are standing beside them ALL the time, you cannot say with certainty what they are doing and their purpose.
People have reasons that are not shared with everyone. They don’t advertise their motives, process, or even their expected results. IF you have a problem with what you ARE seeing, talk to the person. A couple of outcomes might result from that ‘face to face’ conversation. You might find out you were completely wrong about what you thought you saw. You might find out that you were right and your neighbor welcomes your intervention. You might prevent something from getting worse by checking on it right away. Or you might lose a neighbor. At the VERY LEAST, you have given your neighbor an opportunity to set the record straight. If your neighbor is doing something wrong that concerns you and refuses to listen, follow Jesus’ instructions on the matter. Jesus’ words are focused at your spiritual brothers but the concept still applies to our ‘neighbor’ as well.
This is something I struggle with in my husband a LOT. He is quick to make assumptions, with little or no evidence. He does this with things as mundane as where a truck is going and what it is hauling to the reasons behind someone’s divorce. For the little conclusions I have learned to just ignore them. With the ones that matter, I say something to him about it. I don’t know if he will ever change. Honestly, that change is up to God. All I can do is remind him that he doesn’t have the full story.
Wrong conclusions CAN hurt! Don’t let them be a knife in your hands by spreading them around. Check your assumptions and verify your facts BEFORE going out to ‘right some wrong’ that didn’t even exist.
Father God, keep me from jumping to conclusions. I know I am not immune to this. Help me with my frustration when my husband does the jumping. Let me speak love to him as I question his assumptions. Help me also know when it is time to act; either by taking my concerns to my ‘neighbor’ or involving the police. There ARE times to act! Don’t let me turn a blind eye to them.