Jumping to Conclusions Without Cause
Get the facts first
Over the past 20 years, I have counseled individuals, couples, and families. I find it startling how our perception and perspectives are molded and made by past experiences. As such, we tend to jump to certain conclusions without gaining all the facts. For instance, some time ago I sent a message out via Facebook. The message was intended to demonstrate how a person's mind works. Yes, it was a set up for my viewers...and it worked. Please note, that I have had four back surgeries and for me to bend over, at times, is very distressful and difficult. I shared with my friends these series of messages: "Today, my wife showed me the power and purpose of lubrication"...followed by: I cannot believe how much easier it was for me and my back." I ended it there for just a few moments...I then counteracted how the lubrication was used to help me replace a gas line in our chainsaw...and it ended with: I know where my mind was, where is yours.
My gosh, you would have thought I committed a mortal sin. While I was referring to work on a chainsaw, everyone else thought I was talking about something of the sexual nature. The responses I received were innumerable...some readers thought it was funny, while others were fuming over the issue. The purpose of this simple exercise was to demonstrate how people are too quick to jump to conclusions...they read into things more than what was originally intended.
Subsequently, relationships are wrecked, families are in shambles, and friendships are ruined. So how do we prevent such atrocities from occurring...first, and foremost, allow the person to finish what he or she is saying. All too many times, are minds are so easily distracted by what and how we want to respond that we do not hear the "Rest of the Story." Such a way of thinking serves as a roadblock in that you prevent the person from openly and honestly sharing. Secondly, remember that people are people too...sometimes they have a difficult time expressing what is honestly troubling his/her heart: there are issues of condemnation, conviction, and crucifixion. What he or she may very well be looking for is comprehension (understanding), care and compassion; and yes, a shoulder to cry on. When someone talks with you, about you or you hear something that a person may have said, simply do this: ask yourself what would you do and how would you want others respond if it were you and seek discernment as to what may have drawn that person to such a conclusion. That is, try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. And finally, get the facts first. There is nothing worse than second hand smoke...do not let others persuade you as to what to decide and or do...rather go to the source. Ask them in love; not condemnation. But do more than ask...walk beside that person: hold that person up: help carry the burden. That does not mean you remove the burden or necessarily excuse...it means that you honestly care.