This morning while driving into the office, my husband and I saw the blue fall sky fill with waves of heavy dark smoke. As we drove closer to the Atlanta airport, I knitted my eyebrows and frowned. Memories of 9/11 raced to center stage at the sight of the black smoke. Before panicking, I thought again. The last time I had seen similar smoke at the airport, a safety drill, in progress, simulated a plane crash. I had a choice about how to process what I saw.
When we jump to conclusions we usually seek to believe either the worst or the best of what we think we see or hear. At times, in critical situations of life and death, jumping to conclusions may be necessary to motivate quick action to save life. But in normal life situations, when we only have partial knowledge to form an opinion, we can get it wrong.
God has the advantage in knowing all truth for He is truth. But as much as we would like to see with His perfect vision and know with His perfect truth, the time for that has not come. Each passing day gives opportunities to practice looking at the world as one made in His image. I try to live up to seeing with His eyes and heart and processing what I see with the mind of Christ. I acknowledge I’ll never get the view and thought exactly right this side of heaven. But I can pray to Him for wisdom and help in looking upon things rightly and ask for help to not jump to wrong conclusions.
These thoughts are particularly important as they apply to Christians noticing other people. We need to try to see them with the compassionate gaze of Jesus who sees their heart before He sees the outer person. The more time we spend in God’s word, in the company of Jesus, the more we can develop the eyes of our heart. We can also ask the indwelling Holy Spirit to give us increasing discernment.
Have you found yourself jumping to conclusions lately about what you’ve seen or a person you have encountered? Do you need to revise your thinking after passing it through the filter of God’s word and heart? Are you open to praying before coming to conclusions? I need to work on this myself.
By the way, I later found out the source of today’s dark smoke: a construction site beside the airport generated it. The smoke turned out to be from neither conclusion to which my mind wanted to jump.