Jumping to conclusions is not wisdom. I know because I have lived it. We see with our lenses and depending on the vantage point, our perspective may be off.
We also live in a culture where people can be highly and easily offended. Ego is high and social media can increase the boldness of offended people.
I think it can be dangerous to read things online or social media and form an opinion about who we think the author is or the true intent of their message.
It’s dangerous to accuse, or to set ourselves up to be the Holy Spirit for them. I have encountered this numerous times posting online, blogging, or social media (mostly it’s social media). People get an idea of who they think you are, and what they think you mean. Some try to be Jesus for you…and it’s dangerous to jump to conclusions, to become offended with limited understanding.
My prayer, for myself and others, is to stop assuming and jumping to conclusions. Only God sees and knows everything. We don’t. We can always ask questions too; “You said or wrote this, this is what I think you meant, is it? I want to understand.”
I highly recommend questions, though it can cause great vulnerability. Instead of accusing. There can also be a statement such as, “I perceived your actions or words to be this.” It does not always help because the person can respond defensively, “How could you think this of me?” Well, the goal is communication. If someone takes the time to try to understand, they care about you. People who don’t care just walk away.
Notes on Reading Posts Online:
A person can think a post is about them and it’s not. A person can think they know where a person stands politically and they don’t. A person can think God has assigned them to be the Holy Spirit for others and He hasn’t.
Pride is present in quarreling and offense. Pride is a nasty monster that keeps the world looking for flaws in everyone else but self. It amplifies the flaws of others and minimizes it’s own sin. It’s incredibly self righteous.
My prayer is God continues to deal with me so I can continually lead by example. I learned to stop commenting on others pages when I disagreed. I pray and keep scrolling.
Pride is A Nasty Monster:
Thinking our opinion is always needed is pride. Sometimes the very best thing we can do is pray and leave people alone. I am not saying let your friend walk around with spinach in their teeth. I am saying it’s not always necessary to start debates with people.
I had someone connected to me who was exhausting because the person never listened and loved debating. They believed they were right about everything and became highly defensive when anyone spoke something they did not agree with/condone. It was mentally exhausting. I knew if I did not agree and vocalized non agreement it would lead to a long, long, freakishly long debate and measures to try to convince me why they were right.
One day God saved me by having someone call the person so they had to get off the phone with me. I could not get a word into the conversation. I, honestly, avoid conversations with this person or keep it simple. Why? I don’t have time for a 3 hour debate every time I see someone.
Sometimes people assume non agreement with their ideas means non agreement with them as a person. They only feel validated when everyone is on the same page. We can disagree with people and love them. We can disagree and still like someone. It is false we all need to think the same about everything. I may love coffee, you may hate coffee. That does not mean I hate you.
In a world so easily offended, we can try to not be a statistic. We can ask questions and not jump to conclusions. The devil will most likely tell you the most negative version of the story. He is not positive. He also loves pride and won’t lead a person to humble themselves.
Here is a bonus segment from Patricia King’s new show Women on the Rise. The topic is offense and I shared a short segment on identifying offense and overcoming offense.
Identifying & Overcoming Offense: https://youtu.be/QM4iPri-KIQ
You are so deeply loved!