Jumping to Conclusions

img_0797-2Today we had a visit from former Rep. Spence Swalm and House Sargent Leon Brandli. It was great to reconnect with these friends and to make our first visit to the new Foothills Shopping Center. We are enjoying great fall weather. I am becoming a fan of global warming.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY... Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.”  Proverbs 18:13 NLT

The ability to keep from rushing to judgment and the ability to ask good questions about an issue is an important “skill set.” It is easy to hear an argument or a case presented on an issue and to quickly adopt a position and state a conclusion.

I have certainly learned that in my work and background as a legislator or serving on various government boards. Being able to hold your tongue and wait to form an opinion is often the best approach. Once again we find a matter that is related to human history going back thousands of years.

Solomon warned about “spouting off” before listening to all the facts. It is not only foolish, but can create shame as well.

There are three Proverbs in chapter 18 that relate to this issue. Another that we find says, Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2 NLT) This can be viewed as, “listen first, speak second.” I have the opportunity, such as it is, to work on issues that create a degree of controversy, where people have some strong opinions. It is interesting to see how people hold an opinion that is not founded in facts, but refuse to be open to understanding and constructive dialogue. 

A verse that I had printed, framed and hung in my legislative office was this one, The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18:17 ESV)  While this verse is set in the context of a trial and listening to witnesses, I found it appropriate when lobbyists or various individuals representing an issue sat across my desk to discuss a particular legislative issue. Many issues are not, “black and white” and it is important to hear “both sides” when taking a position or making a decision.

In our lives, we find ourselves making decisions and forming opinions on all kinds of subjects. Solomon’s advice in these and other Proverbs gives us the ability to act with wisdom.

Prayer for today… Lord, thank You for showing us how to be people of wisdom. This is no more important than in the opinions that we shape in our life. Give us insight and the ability to ask the right questions, to the right people at the right time. Help us to listen and gather facts first, before we speak.