There is another jump we make that is even more dangerous-jumping to the wrong conclusions about important issues. The Bible gives us a classic example of such a leap. It happened over 3400 years ago but sets a precedent for us today. the conquest of the "Promised Land" was ending and soldiers that had settled on the east side of the Jordan River were going home to reunite with their families (Joshua 22).
As peace settled, someone heard that east-side families had built an altar. Word spread that "east side" was sliding back into idolatry. Tempers flared. Only a few years earlier, God had sent a plague that killed 24,000 (Numbers 25:9) for worshiping idols. National disaster fresh in their minds, the west moved quickly.
"When the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children in Israel turned away to worship other gods, the law said they were to "Inquire, search out, and ask diligently prior to taking up the sword against their countrymen (Deuteronomy 13:14-15). So the west formed a delegation to do some fact-finding and asked a man who had earned their respect to lead the group (Numbers 25:1-9; Joshua 22: 13-14).
When the delegation reached their brothers in the east, they were ready for the worst. They accused the eastern tribes of ignoring the past and endangering the future of the nation. After listening to the accusation, spokespersons for the east assured them that the altar was not for sacrifice. it was a memorial so that future generations would remember their relationship to the whole nation and the God of Israel (Joshua 22:24-27). all Israel celebrated the news: The altar was a "witness between us that the Lord is God" (v.34).
If the initial conclusion had been acted on, many would have died. A family would have gone to war with itself. We need to learn what the children of Israel learned. There are many ways to jump to false conclusions. Hearing only one side of a conflict (Proverbs 18:17), assuming guilt by association (Luke 7:34), and repeating unconfirmed information as fact (Joshua 22:11) are only a few of the leaps that do harm. We all need to hear the wisdom of James: Be quick to listen slow to speak, and slow to become angry" (James 1:19 NIV).
Many times if you do not allow pride, self-importance, a sense of entitlement, sin, anger, and ignorance, a resolution to the problem can be resolved. Things are more often, not as they appear to be. But sometimes our depraved, un-sanctified mind, repeats a scenario in our mind that pushes us to believe the worst and makes our blood boil. The spirit of "OFFENSE," is alive and well, and the devil is having a field day in our lives.
If we are to "Jump," why not jump into the Word of God! He has an answer for every circumstance, conflict, and situation that comes up in our lives, relationships and ministries. If we are going to "Jump," let us jump into examining our own depraved heart. Let us jump into forgiveness, extend mercy, and show compassion to family members, friends and associates.
I know this message is tight, but it is right! Remember, the first partakers of any message of a spiritual nature, touches the messenger. There have been many times in my life when I like you, have reached a wrong conclusion. We need to do like the Apostle said, Be slow to listen and slow to speak. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
HAVE A BLESSED DAY AND "DON'T FORGET TO SAY YOUR PRAYERS!"