October 5

Written by Bill Grandi on October 5th, 2023

I suppose all of us, at one time or another, have jumped to conclusions. We decided what someone was like or what took place without having adequate information. I’m pretty sure all of us have figured out what a person was like before we really knew. We hear snippets; we observe random actions; we surmise without knowing all the facts.

That’s like the old legend of the blind men who were brought to an elephant and asked to describe it based on their experience. One touched his trunk and said it was like a big snake. Another touched his leg and said it was like a tree. One touched his tail and said it was like a rope. And the other touched its side and said it was like a wall. Each was right and each was wrong. It all depended on their perception. They were incapable of seeing the big picture.

When someone jumps to a conclusion-without knowing all the facts-there isn’t much difference from that and the blind men’s perceptions of the elephant. In their limited vision, they may have been correct, but in reality they were wrong. When we form preconceived ideas without knowing all the facts, we do ourselves and those we are forming opinions about a great injustice.

Limited in knowledge and limited by experience like the blind men, we fail to grasp the complete truth, to get it right. We cheat the other person. And we cheat ourselves. I decided to look up preconceived notions to see what some have to say. There are a lot of quotes to consider but here is one I thought was pretty spot on: “Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.”

Let’s not jump to conclusions. Let’s not be hasty in our preconceived ideas. Let’s gather facts. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt. Let’s make informed and wise decisions about people. We all deserve that, at least.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. We’re all guilty of forming preconceived notions about others, Bill, but as you’ve pointed out here, it’s neither fair nor trustworthy to do so. Let’s be patient and wait until all the facts come in before we size up another person. That’s the right thing to do.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks for the words Martha. I’m glad I wasn’t off base. It is essential to know all the facts.

  2. gail says:

    Great point Bill. Noone wants to be tagged as thinking and judging like a Pharisee. We need to remember that Jesus told us to love one another, and if we do that, we should not jump into preconceived ideas, or into a instant judgemental role.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Gail. And yes, no one wants to be tagged. I know I don’t want to and I don’t want to be pigeon-holed (unless it is for failing to compromise the truth).

  3. Linda Stoll says:

    ‘Let’s not jump to conclusions. Let’s not be hasty in our preconceived ideas. Let’s gather facts. Let’s give people the benefit of the doubt.’

    So much truth jammed into that one paragraph, Bill. Lots of meat to chew on and take to heart.

  4. Cheryl says:

    My family and I just had a very real experience with this. We knew little about someone but had formed very strong opinions about them based on our initial interactions. Recently we had the opportunity to sit down with them and really talk and get to know them, and oh, my! We left the experience feeling so convicted! They were not at all like we had originally perceived, and we were so blessed by our visit. I have asked the Lord to please forgive me for the way I judged them and it is my hope that I will be more careful in the future.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I know it probably won’t make it any easier but you are not alone in those actions and reactions Cheryl. I think we have all eaten at that same table. The important thing is that you were open to Spirit’s conviction and listened to Him.