Jumping to Conclusions
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Mature People Take Responsibility.
I could have avoided a lot of hurt if I would have gone slower, maybe even asking myself the simple question, "What if I'm wrong?"
This was a fairly new question for me, one I never would have asked years ago. Why should I? I mean, my track record was impeccable. Never mind that I only kept track of my wins. I still gained confidence with each one. And if I was wrong, then I would do what any self-inflated egotist does—I would blame it on someone else.
Taking responsibility isn't something that comes automatically to me. But when subsequent holidays came around and the time came to discuss which days we would spend with family, I thought back to that Christmas. From then on I saw my responsibility in the matter. I owned it.
I Could Be Wrong.
I never wanted to repeat that Christmas debacle. So instead I pursued the fine art of quieting myself and gathering needed information first. Then I processed it so I could respond, instead of just reacting.
The next time I was tempted to jump to conclusions I saw this invisible flashing light, representing DANGER. Aborting my plan, I put away my measuring cup that I used to make sure both sides of the family got equal time. Instead I asked God to help me enjoy the time I had with my family. I chose not to jump.
I'm tired of jumping. I'd rather keep my feet on solid ground, take in information around me, and after assimilating it, ask myself if I could be wrong. Being right isn't all it's cracked up to be anyway. It's kind of lonely.
Through the years it grew easier to see my fallibility—such as the time I shared with my church prayer group that so-and-so had passed away. A couple weeks later I realized I'd buried the wrong person. That was tricky. Another time I closed down a perfectly good establishment, convinced I was right, as usual.
I've come to see that I'm wrong a lot. It's easier living in this world with the freedom to make mistakes, to be wrong. It's human. And you don't have to be labeled foolish: "The wise don't make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness" (Proverbs 12:23).
Years ago at a garage sale with my friend, I noticed a game I used to own selling for a dollar. So I picked it up, heading to a card table with a smiling elderly lady.
"You'll like that game; it's with letters," she bubbled.
Her words had hardly reached my ears when I immediately retorted, "No, I've had this game before; it's with numbers."
I smiled as I said it, but my friend noticed how smug I was.
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