Are You One to Jump to Conclusions?

Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

Col. 3:12 (NIV) “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

When my four children were teenagers and younger, Renee and I bought them a trampoline. (This is not an endorsement. It worked for us but we had strict rules.) The kids loved it. They played on it all the time and had a blast on it. And, I praise God that none of them every got hurt. But, I did. I had put it together and watched them jump over and over and over again. I was smart enough not to get on myself until one day they begged me again and again. “Come on dad, get up here. You can do this.” I caved in and got on it. They were bouncing me higher and higher. There was this little move they did hitting the mat that actually made me go higher. On one of those moves I went flying over the side of the trampoline crashing to the ground. I lay there groaning as the kids put their hands on me to pray. “Dad, are you alright?” It was that last jump. It did me in. I had cracked my rib. It was painful. I never got on it again. I shouldn’t have to begin with and I knew it.

There is another jump that has caused me great pain – the jumping to conclusions too fast. When I worked as a flight attendant for the airlines, I was often the lead flight attendant. It was common to have to make decisions fast. If I flew and managed a 747, you could literally walk up to the aircraft, meet a large crew, find out that you were in charge, and have to start making decisions quickly. It was the nature of the job. When I ran my own companies, I had to frequently make decisions. When I was hired as a Pastor of a growing church, that didn’t change. I had learned over the years to become a decisive person. I seemed to have developed the ability to grasp the big picture, take many things into consideration, and make decisive decisions.

One mistake that I had occasionally made early on was thinking I had all the facts to make a decision only to find out that I didn’t. That’s called “jumping to conclusions” and when you do that it can hurt like falling off a trampoline. You can embarrass yourself because you think you have all the information you need and have formed a judgment only to find out you didn’t have all the information and you formed the wrong judgment. “Ouch,” that hurts. It can embarrass you and hurt others.

I think most parents have fallen off the trampoline in this area. Little Johnny comes crying because his bigger brother hit him. As Johnny is crying he sobs, “Daddy, Billy knocked me down really hard!” You ask, “Why did Johnny knock you down?” Again he jerks and sobs harder, “I didn’t do nothun! He was jus being mean!” You walk in to the bedroom where Billy is. Billy has been acting up and irritating you lately as it is. You angrily give him an all day “time out” in his bedroom and warn him not to come out. Now Billy is crying and defending himself but you aren’t listening. You walk out of the room mad at Billy and say, “Don’t hit Johnny one more time for any reason!”

Later that night, your wife asks you if you’ve seen the huge bruise on Billie’s back? “No. What does he have a bruise from?” you ask. “I guess Johnny was throwing a tantrum and picked up a belt and swung it at Billy and hit him on the back.” “It’s a huge welt,” she says. “Billy didn’t hit him. He just grabbed the belt from Johnny’s hand and accidentally knocked him over in doing so. Billy said he tried to explain to you but you wouldn’t listen.” Now you feel horrible and need to go apologize to Billy. You can’t undo what you did by “jumping to conclusions.” You can only feel bad and apologize.

People jumping to conclusions daily. They hear only one side of a couple’s marriage problems or they hearing an alleged accusation of someone in a news story and “jump to conclusions.” They hear a rumor of a decision the boss has made and “jump to conclusions.” They do so because they are impulsive and impatient in many areas of their life. This bleeds over into “jumping to conclusions.”

Being a man (men like to fix things) and being a decisive person in general has taught me that I have to be all the more cautious to make sure I have the facts I need to truly assess a conflict or situation accurately. Otherwise I might “jump” and end up where I don’t want to be – embarrassed by my mouth and actions.

Impatience is a curse. It’s outworking results in horrible listening skills, impulsiveness, speaking words later regretted, jumping to conclusions, and making wrong decisions.

Col. 3:12-15 (NLT) brings the instruction that we need so that the Holy Spirit can work the supernatural character transformation of patience within us. It says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, AND PATIENCE. You must make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.”

Getting the whole story, putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, listening with compassion and mercy, and clothing yourself with love by desiring resolution and good decisions will help force and develop patience within you. The development of patience within your character will help you to assess and respond rather than react and blurt. It’s better than lying on the ground with a cracked rib or feeling ashamed and stupid for jumping when and where you shouldn’t have!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.


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