We all understand what the phrase "jumping to conclusions" means. But we sometimes do not appreciate what the alternative--reserving judgment--actually means. As we live together in covenant community, it is essential that we master the art of "not jumping," even if the conclusion looks to us like a safe landing place. This is particularly the case when it comes to how we speak to others, and of others. It is easy to feel the force of authority in phrases like "it appeared to me. . ." or "it certainly looks as though. . .", or "it really seems that . . ." but the authority is spurious. Nevertheless, forceful (and erroneous) assumptions are still transmitted in careless speech to others. True authority to speak is grounded in the way things are, not the way things necessarily look. When it comes to affairs of the tongue-"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment" (John 7:24).
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