Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.
We live in a world of in-your-face social and institutional media that everything we read and see and hear is quickly digested and generally believed without facts. A 10-second video clip is shown and conclusions quickly drawn. People and actions are immediately judged and condemn on hearsay, gossip, and tribal affiliation. The Bible identifies people who act this way are foolish and immature.
One of my early mentors taught me the importance of gathering all the facts before being swayed by the initial story. One time an employee presented us with an accusation of another associate. The event if true would be grounds for termination. When I initially heard the story, anger arouse, and I wanted the person immediately removed from the company. But my mentor remained calm, thank the person for the information, and proceeded to complete his work for the day. I was dumb-founded. Wasn’t he going to act on this manner?
He did. He finished the task in front of him, then scheduled meetings with several of the people involved. After meeting with each person, and interviewing several other people involved, the whole story became known. The facts showed otherwise. The accuser’s perception of the events was an error. A person’s reputation and job were saved. And when all the real evidence became known, everyone involved could breathe fresh air again.
The moral of the story – don’t jump to conclusions until you gather all the facts from as many sources as possible. And like Steve Covey always said, First understand, then be understood.
When you allow your feelings to lead, you will fall far short of your goal. Instead, gather the evidence, study the facts, and reach a rational decision which you can uphold before others.
Facts don’t lie, feelings do. Liars may distort and twist facts toward their personal agenda, therefore the importance of you knowing the facts in their pure form becomes more necessary if you truly want to know the truth.
When 10 facts overwhelm one fact, the answer is obvious. Yet many people know one fact of the situation and ignore the nine. They are people with a hidden agenda and don’t want the truth. They have a personal crusade and don’t care of the truth. The rational person though will want to take the whole picture into account. They will look at the entire evidence before reaching a conclusion.
So, before you jump into the shadow of your feelings, be rational, gather the evidence, and then reach your conclusion on the matter. It always sounds true when the first person speaks, but after you hear from the other side, you will most often find your initial impression is not the real picture of the entire event. The more you do this, the better you will become in evaluating the situations in your life – It’s called maturing in wisdom.
PS: If you haven’t yet included the Book of Proverbs into your devotional reading time, you may want to practice reading a chapter per day for one month on an annual basis. There is a whole lot of practical wisdom waiting to be digested between those pages that is very applicable for the 21st century.
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