The reason not to jump to conclusions

Published 12:23 am Saturday, September 27, 2014

The late Dr. Adrian Rogers, a gifted and powerful teacher and preacher of God’s word, told a story about a dog named August that went something like this: August was always jumping to conclusions.
One day he jumped at the conclusion of a mule and that was the end of August.
That is one of those stories that might require a few minutes to sink in before it brings a smile to your face, but it gives a simple reminder of how much trouble we can get into and how many wrong assumptions that we can arrive at when we jump to conclusions about a matter or a person before we check out all the details.
Not long ago I went to the doctor for my annual cancer checkup. After more than nine years since that unpleasant diagnosis, I am grateful that I have not had any signs of recurrence. But a few days after my recent medical visit I received a letter in the mail from the physician’s office that opened with these words:  “Dear Patient:  It is with mixed emotion . . . ” and then it continued.
If I had stopped reading at that point, I could have let my mind race in a lot of directions and arrived at all sorts of conclusions about their message. That would have obviously been an unwise approach, so I read the entire letter, which had nothing to do with my health.
Included among the wise sayings found in the Book of Proverbs is this: “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him” (18:17, New International Version). It always pays to thoughtfully, patiently and prayerfully consider details when developing opinions and arriving at decisions
We need to be careful, too, about jumping to conclusions about ourselves.
Because of past mistakes and regrets it can be easy to assume that we are no longer fit to be used effectively for the honor of God and the good of people, but that is a conclusion that should never be arrived at.
God is in the business of forgiving and restoring even those with the most blemished track records.
Satan, the enemy of our souls, is in the business of lying to us and telling us that we are too bad to be forgiven and used by God; he strives to keep us under the deception that there is no hope.
But there is great hope through faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul, one of the great men of God in the New Testament, gives a glimpse of what his life was like before he gave his heart to Christ: “Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). All those who knew him in his ungodly state could have jumped to the conclusion that there was no hope for him, but that would have been an inaccurate conclusion.
Pay attention to what he writes in the next verse:  “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
Don’t jump to the conclusion that you or anyone else is too bad to be of value. The same grace and love of God that transformed the life of Paul over 2000 years ago are available today to all who will surrender their lives to Jesus Christ.