Jumping To Conclusions

We’re watching the Sunday evening drama ‘Showtrial’ on BBC1. Talitha and Dhillon areon trial for the murder of student Hannah. The plot unfolds… evidence emerges… the viewer reaches conclusions.

The character, family and background of Talitha and Dhillon are gradually revealed. We reach different conclusions. It’s the final episode next week…

Musing… ‘Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.’ (Proverbs 25:8)

St Paul’s a prisoner in a boat crossing the Mediterranean to Rome. There’s a storm and shipwreck. Crew, soldiers and prisoners land in Malta.

They light a fire to get dry and warm. A snake bites Paul, hanging from his hand. ‘He’s a murderer!’ they cry. ‘This is judgement on Him!’

He shakes the snake off into the fire, suffering no ill effects. They change their mind: ‘He’s a god!’

Jumping to conclusions? He was neither murderer nor god.

Will has a whole host of problems. Drink, marriage, children, drugs, falling out with many people. His life’s falling apart.

Simon got into significant debt over a significant period of time, He’d kept it a secret from everybody – including his wife.

Gill’s off work with anxiety/ stress-related problems. She spends a lot of time at home.

Will, Simon, Gill… It’s easy to jump to conclusions… judging mistakes made… how to put things right… what future action should be taken…

Churches are sometimes the best – or worst – at jumping to conclusions. ‘You need to ‘repent’… ‘pray more’… ‘get counselling’… ‘come to church’… ‘Whatever the question, Jesus is the answer’. Well-meaning people trying to help…

I sit on the fence. Someone says ‘Jump this way’; someone else says ‘No. jump to my conclusion.

It’s uncomfortable sitting on the fence. I seek the wisdom of Proverbs. Eventually I may choose to jump one way. In the meantime I work with my wire-cutters trying to cut down the fence so that those on both sides can be brought together.

3 thoughts on “Jumping To Conclusions

  1. Excellent musing, Malcolm. As you suggest, churches can be as bad as others about jumping to conclusions!. Love the analogy of the wire cutters ! Thank you for your reflections which I always enjoy and benefit greatly from.

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    1. Thanks Roger. I used to think that my Christian faith should and would give me all of the answers. It’s as I meet people like Will, Simon, and Gill that I realise that firstly I don’t have all of the answers, and secondly sometimes there are things – like compassion, empathy and just being there – that are more important than just having ‘the answer’.

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