Do you ever jump to conclusions? Assuming you know why a person is doing a particular thing, certain you know their motives? This can cause offenses and challenges in relationships. [And we hate it when others do it to us.]
First – judging a person’s motives, why they are doing what they are doing, is not our job or responsibility nor do we have the ability.
Who can know what is behind a person’s actions? Only God. “But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” Matthew 9:4; “But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side.” Luke 9:47; “But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, ‘Do you take offense at this?’” John 6:61.
Second – We don’t see the whole picture. We are at least partially wrong or even totally wrong. We cannot see a person’s heart and we may make wrong assumptions regarding their motives. In fact, even the person themselves may not know their own motives being unwilling to dig below the surface.
I admit I am guilty of jumping to conclusions about another’s motives… okay, mostly my husband’s. It is evidence that I think I know more than I really know and that I most highly value my opinion as to that person’s motives. It is a subtle or not-so-subtle form of pride and arrogance.
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” Romans 12:3
We (I) need to be cautious and humble as we draw conclusions about another’s actions. Keeping in mind that we never have the whole story and are at least always partially wrong.
Third – we are not the Holy Spirit. Not only can we not know another’s heart and motivations, we do not have the ability to judge, correct or change another’s heart. Prayer is the greatest gift of love we can offer another person. After all, God does know the motives of their heart. God can judge, correct and change their heart. He is God in that person’s life.
Next time you are tempted to jump to conclusions. Stop. Pray for God’s divine work of change in their life and yours.
After serving 16 years full time on the staff of America’s Keswick, Diane and her husband moved to North Carolina where she continues to serve part time as a contributing writer and Partner Care Consultant. She is also a Biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.