Jumping to Conclusions

There is a broad canyon of information between knowing actions and knowing motivation. Perhaps that’s why we call hasty judgments “jumping to conclusions.”

There is a world of difference between the statement “You did this to me.” and “You did this to me because ___________.” The former is a statement about someone’s action. The latter is a statement about one’s motives. Action is easier to perceive than motivation. Actions are external. Motives reside in the heart and mind.

The only way to rightly perceive a motive is to communicate—to ask questions, to clarify, to listen, to understand. But that takes work and time.

And so, we usually jump to conclusions. It’s easier to take a flying leap across the significant span between observed-action to concrete-motivation. Of course, it often fails with a messy and fatal SPLAT! on the canyon floor.

More challenging is the task of bridge-building. The work of careful, patient, good-faith communication necessitates setting aside our pride. We must lay aside our certainty about our initial feeling, sense, and suspicion. This entails caring more about what is actually true of our neighbor than what we want to be true. In short, it requires love. And love usually involves dying to ourselves to give life to a relationship.

Each approach involves death. But only one promises the possibility of a life-giving relationship.


Order Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women.

3 Things I’m Enjoying in 2020

What’s Best Next Video Study

January 12 is almost half-over. Your New Years Resolutions are probably more than half-broken. And, if you’re like me, most resolutions deal with getting more things done. If that’s you, let me encourage you to think differently about productivity. Instead of getting more things done, aim to get better things done.

Matt Perman, the author of What’s Best Next, is a master of productivity. He’s studied productivity theory (in its various ways) and combined the best of multiple systems with theological God-centeredness to help you do “what’s best next.” I was pleased to receive a copy of his new video study. In 27 sessions (over 6 hours of content) Matt teaches through his material in short, accessible sessions. 

The What’s Best Next Video Study will be helpful for those who prefer to learn by listening. It would be useful for work-team training or for use with high school students learning to prioritize their responsibilities.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: A Visual History

I grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Recently, I’ve been watching it with my seven-year-old (who now begs me to watch it). It’s been a joy to revisit my television friend as an adult. I’m beginning to understand Mister Rogers’ wisdom, what he was doing, and why he did it. It’s helping me be a better parent and person.

So, I was pleased to receive Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: A Visual History as a Christmas present. I read almost half of it the first night. It is filled with history, pictures, and interviews with the cast and crew. Any fan of Mister Rogers will be sure to treasure it.

Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women

Is it ok for me to say I’ve been enjoying a book that I co-wrote? Either way, I have been. For the past month, I’ve been anxious as the February 4 release date approaches. I’ve questioned myself on whether the book is any good or will be helpful to others. (For the most part, I’ve forgotten what we actually wrote since the last round of edits!)

I ripped open a manilla envelope on Saturday, expecting to find a different book. To my surprise, it was a copy of Worthy! I sat down and read almost all of it that afternoon. I was pleasantly surprised by how happy I was with it. Whether it is helpful to others or not remains to be seen. But, for now, I’m thankful to God for the opportunity to write it. And I pray he uses it to bless others and to glorify himself.

Giveaway: Hardcover ESV Scripture Journals

esv new testament scripture journal setThinking about reading through the Bible in 2020? Journaling through the Scripture is a great way to increase your comprehension, application, and prayer. Using the ESV New Testament Scripture Journals is a great way to do this.

I reviewed the journals and some of their uses this fall (here). But now Crossway has released a hardcover edition. This is a big improvement on the previous set, allowing you to throw a journal in your bag without fear of tearing up the cover.

Thanks to the generosity of Crossway, I have a full set to giveaway. You may enter here or through the form below.