“If he didn’t ‘jump to conclusions’, he would get no exercise at all.”
Have you ever thought or said that?
There is a multitude of important differences between jumping to conclusions and judging righteous judgment. In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus condemns the former and explains the latter. He says, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Consider these seven differences between unrighteous and righteous judgment which are found in Jesus’ words:
- Jumping to conclusions is condemned by Christ; righteous judgment is commanded.
- Jumping to conclusions is hypercritical (i.e. harsh, unmerciful, unloving, and thrives on fault-finding); righteous judgment is honest and critical but also fair and tenderhearted.
- Jumping to conclusions is not how you want others to treat you; righteous judgment is.
- Jumping to conclusions requires no self-examination; righteous judgment does.
- Jumping to conclusions excuses personal hypocrisy; righteous judgment does not.
- Jumping to conclusions demands no action to improve yourself or the person you have “jumped on”; righteous judgment necessitates action on self when needed before helping another.
- Jumping to conclusions strokes one’s ego and feeds a hungry self-righteous spirit; righteous judgment cultivates humility.
No wonder Jesus commanded to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24)!