October 8, 2018

DAY EIGHT - 31 Days of Becoming Queen...


Today is Day Eight of 31 Days of Becoming Queen of Giving the Benefit of the Doubt! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Homepage' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!

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The Bad Habit of
 Jumping to Conclusions...

We all do this, right? 

I mean... we don't mean to, but when an argument, disagreement, or difficulty arises, before we have all (or any) of the facts, we have already gone to the end of the story.

We are storytellers, every one of us, because we are made in His image and He is the best Creative Writer there ever was, or there ever will be.

But here's the problem:



We forget to let Him do the telling... 
  We forget to slow and stop, to wait and wonder...
    to let Him gift us with His thoughts and His ways
      that are higher... to get a glimpse of 'their' perspective
        or His perspective or anyone else's 
          -especially if it differs from our own!

We are a forgetful people.

We forget all the other times when we jumped to a conclusion or heard a rumor or read a headline and thought we knew the whole story only to find out, in the end, it was not so cut and dry. There were two sides, two perspectives, more facts and possibilities than we considered when we decided what we believed in the first few moments.

I won't speak for you, but I know for me... I've been wrong.  I've thought I knew something only to find there was more to the situation than met the eye. My initial impression judgment was lacking solid information and I should have waited to hear the rest of the story!

Or maybe I thought it would end up a certain way because that is how it has happened in the past, so I make assumptions and jump to conclusions without slowing down long enough to get all the facts or to really hear both sides of the issue.

And we all know what happens when we assume... 

The Bible encourages us to not jump to conclusions or make quick judgments... 
"Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw." Prov 25:8 The Message
"Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment." Matt 7:1 The Message
"Jesus said, “Forsake the habit of criticizing and judging others, and then you will not be criticized and judged in return. Don’t look at others and pronounce them guilty, and you will not experience guilty accusations yourself. Forgive over and over and you will be forgiven over and over." Luke 6:37 TPT
"My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to speak. And be slow to become angry..." James 1:19 TPT 

I know it has helped me a ton to stop and think about how I would feel if someone made an assumption or conclusion about something I did or said and it was completely misunderstood, yet I wasn't given a chance to explain. 

What was that in Matthew chapter 7? 
"Do not judge so that you will not be judged." (NASB)

This not jumping to conclusions thing is tough... it takes practice and discipline... and it can be a lot of work if you are used to a Worst Case Scenario kind of atmosphere!  

When something happens --especially if you perceive it to be something bad-- your mind immediately drifts to the most terrible possible outcome. You seem to work your way backward from there and so by the time you get back to the present, you've already written the entire story!

Listen... it helps tremendously when we remember what that felt like when it was done to us! I'm in my 40's and I'm guessing that no matter what your age, this has happened to you as well! When someone jumps to a conclusion before hearing you out, or when they make a judgment about you or a loved one without having access to the whole truth, it feels so unfair, unjust, and ...wait for it... unkind.

So I just want to admonish us all to try to put into practice a bit of patience... to not react immediately to situations around us, but to take a moment to breathe... to hear not just the 'side' that we already agree with but also the other side, too! When I say 'hear', I don't mean vaguely listen while planning your next response, but to truly open-handed, and open-hearted, listen!

 So often, what is said is not really what we hear and it is a GIFT when we slow down and ask follow-up questions (without an accusatory tone!) and authentically try to understand!

I realize this goes against our nature... 
It is not natural...
but I have good news! 
We have been given a new nature... 
and we are living a supernatural
life with Jesus!



And what does the Word say about being with Christ?
"For nothing will be impossible with God." Luke 1:37 NASB

So, we can do this! We can be more intentional about holding our breath, and holding our tongues, and holding our judgment... even if just for a little bit longer, until we can hear from all perspectives. It may or may not change your mind... but it will help remind us that we belong to each other and that everything that happens isn't always happening to us... it's not all about us. There are always more ways to look at something and different viewpoints to consider.

It's hard... but it is helpful and it is worth it!

To wrap it up, I will quote 'Dumb and Dumber' (as one does) and assure you that I know it won't be easy... but what I'm sayin' is... "There's a chance!"



Tomorrow we will also talk about the dangers and downfall of ascribing intent!

6 comments :

  1. Yes, we do all jump to conclusions, don't we!!?? I need to stop and hear all sides before even making up my mind about anything...but sometimes that is hard to do. HE IS THE STORYTELLER extrordinaire (I know that is not correct spelling!!!). I also love that you have used several of your verses from The Message version. It really makes the verses so clear and current!

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    1. My poetic, romantic heart can't handle not falling for The Message and The Passion Translation!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and joining in on the journey, Barbara! Not jumping to conclusions IS hard to do... it's such a knee-jerk reaction sometimes! But being mindful of trying not to do it automatically will help, I hope!

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  2. Yes! This is such an important reminder. God the exquisite storyteller...yes!

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  3. Wise, wise words!!!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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