I recently watched an old movie with Paul Newman and JoAnne Woodward. In The Long Hot Summer, Newman’s character was falsely accused of being an arsonist. Almost the whole town jumped to the conclusion that he was guilty and tried to run him out of town.
A quote from Pinterest reads as follows:
“Snap judgments often lead to regrets from those
whose only exercise is jumping to conclusions."
Two events in Washington, DC have captivated the news in recent days. The ever-present cable news networks and social media took these false stories and inflamed public opinion.
The first accused the President of telling his lawyer to lie to Congress. With no documentation to back up the claim, much of the news media had the President convicted of an impeachable offense. The accusation was later walked back when the Special Counsel who investigates such crimes said it wasn’t true.
Next on a demonstration-filled weekend in the nation’s Capital, teenage boys from a Catholic school in Kentucky were accused of racism against Native Americans. The accusation was based on a cherry-picked video. When the full video was released, it was revealed the boys did not instigate a confrontation, but were themselves victimized by epithets from a Black Hebrew Israelite group.
These two incidents of the media defaming people and making snap judgments, made me question if the Bible had something to say to me on the subject. Yes, I confess; As a Christian, I’ve been guilty of jumping to conclusions myself. Four truths "jumped" out at me.
Appearances Can be Deceiving - See the situation from all sides and from another’s point of view.
John 7:24 “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”
Be Slow to Judge - It’s better to be discerning and deliberate in our thinking than to pay the price of false judgment.
Proverbs 25:7-8 “What you have seen with your eyes, do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?"
Grow in Wisdom - Senior adults should use their life experiences to help resolve difficult situations and relationships.
Job 12:12 “Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?”
Remember your Weakness – Look inward and not outward before jumping to conclusions.
Luke 6:37 “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
I conclude with a word to the wise from author, Scottie Waves:
“Stay open-mined. Things aren’t always what they seem to be.”