Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Who Is On The Lord's Side"1 (Lyrics)
Recently, I entered the elevator and met a fellow resident who had been absent from meals for several days. Assuming that she had been away visiting her family, I asked if she had had a good break.
Valerie responded, "If you consider spending five days in hospital a good break, then the answer is yes."
Without knowing all the facts, I had jumped to the wrong conclusion.
When I shared this incident with a senior member of our staff, Laurie told me of a similar experience where she had jumped to the wrong conclusion.
She was speaking with a lady who was considering moving to our lovely facility. The lady told Laurie that the next week, she was going to St. John's for a few days. Jumping to the conclusion that this meant a trip to Newfoundland, Laurie replied, "Wonderful, have a great time!"
In fact, the lady was going to St. John's Rehab, a famous facility that is a part of the world-renowned Sunnybrook Hospital. While it has a good reputation in specialized rehabilitation, I'm not sure that many would describe a visit there as "wonderful".
Like me, you have probably experienced many situations when you jumped to the wrong conclusion. It has always been so.
One of the most significant cases is recorded for us soon after Jesus rose from the dead, when Mary jumped to the wrong conclusion.
John 20:14-16 – Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). (ESV)
So often, jumping to the wrong conclusion involves another person. Hopefully it leads to a laugh with no harm done, and sometimes, even a positive response, as in the case of Mary.
However, Jesus also warns us against making wrong conclusions and judgments about others. A strong example of His teaching in this regard is set out in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 7:1-5 – Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. (ESV)
While we often jump to conclusions and will surely continue to do so, let us strive to follow the teaching of Jesus and never do so in a way that harms others.
Prayer: Dear Father, we marvel that You have created us with opportunities to interact with others. As we do so, help us always to do so in a positive way, sharing Your love with them. Amen.