Don’t Jump to Conclusions; Jump to Grace

Don't jump to conclusions

Edward was in line to get gifts for his kids.

He was young, maybe 25. Black hair, brown skin, dark eyes. His accent was Hispanic.

He watched us white ladies for a minute, seeing us struggle to communicate clearly with the Hispanic ladies in line. Our spotty Spanish and their minuscule English couldn’t cross every barrier.

So when it was my turn to sign up Edward, he explained he could speak both English and Spanish. If we needed him to help translate, he was available.

I immediately answered yes. I asked how to say this and that. He would tell me, distinguishing the nuance between Guatemalan Spanish and Mexican Spanish.

That’s when I asked where he was from, wondering which Spanish he knew best.

And he told me: I am an American.

Oh. Of course. We moved on, kept talking.

But my mind couldn’t let it go.

So on my third or fourth trip to ask Edward a translation question, I finally said it:

“I have to apologize. I feel bad I asked where you were from. I just assumed you weren’t from here.”

Edward just laughed. He said he gets that all the time.

But still.

I shouldn’t just assume.

It’s easy to jump to conclusions, whether about ethnicity or income or religious beliefs.

Just because someone doesn’t look like me or sound like me doesn’t mean that he’s not like me. Edward and I likely had more in common, both as American citizens, than we had differences.

Maybe God created us all to look a little different on our outsides so we’d look a little closer at our insides.

  • To spot our similarities.
  • To discover our distinctions.
  • To practice our principles.

I was thankful for Edward’s grace. He gave it freely. So I jumped on it freely.

But I haven’t forgotten it. I want to learn from it.

In the future, I want to jump quicker to grace and jump slower to conclusions.

* * *

When have you jumped too quickly to the wrong conclusion? When have you been given grace? Please share in the comments.


19 thoughts on “Don’t Jump to Conclusions; Jump to Grace

  1. Karen Friday

    Love this post, Lisa. Even the title, not to jump to conclusions, but jump to grace, had me at hello. But this, too, is so powerful: “Maybe God created us all to look a little different on our outsides so we’d look a little closer at our insides.” Thank you for the sharing the story with Edward that brought such a powerful spiritual lesson.

  2. ~ linda

    Oh, how easily I can jump in those directions that cause me to take steps back and feel bad for what I did, said, was. Being slow to speak is so vital to our relational interactions with others, especially others we do not know or know very well. I want to step to the beat of God’s drum and not the one of this world. May I do so. Thanks for a reminder of the way God would have us be. Much to ponder this day, Lisa. Thanks.

  3. Laurie

    Lisa, I have to admit I would probably have jumped to the same conclusion as you, even though we both know better. We are learning. God is showing us the way. Thank you for the wonderful reminder to show grace to others. We all need grace at times.

  4. Linda Stoll

    Oh, Lisa, this is so good. I stuck my foot in my mouth quite accidentally recently with a neighbor I didn’t know. I apologized profusely but the damage was most likely done.

    Maybe I’ll bake a batch of muffins … and send my husband over with them?


  5. Beth Stiff

    Jump to grace… love this reminder because yes, I can recall too many times I jumped to conclusions first. May God help us to be quicker to jump to grace– may we be more mindful in those moments to make the right choice.

  6. Barbara Harper

    My d-i-l gets that a lot. She’s Indian but is often mistaken for black or thought to be newly-arrived from India. I don’t think she’s offended — she mostly finds it amusing, unless the person is acting in other offensive ways.

    I’m sorry to say I used to get irritated if I was in a store and heard a group of people chattering in another language — I wrongly jumped to the conclusion that they chose to speak their own language and not learn English. But one day I realized that if I lived in another country, even if I learned the language, I’d probably still speak English with my family or with other Americans. It’s not a means of not acclimating to the country – it would just be natural to speak in our native tongue when together. So while I still think it’s a good idea to learn the language of the country you move to, for a variety of reasons, I no longer think that people who speak to others in another language in public don’t know English or are newly arrived. Sadly, that is a time when my d-i-l has experienced prejudice – when in public with other Indian friends or relatives who are speaking Hindi, she’ll hear passers-by mutter things like, “Stupid foreigners.” 🙁

    1. Barbara Harper

      Another thought – even if one does learn a new country’s language, it may take ages to feel confident to us it in public. Yet another reason I should not have jumped to conclusions.

  7. floyd samons

    That’s an easy mistake, but I like Eddies humility in his answer. Says a lot about who he is.

    In my world I know that the Hispanics and myself have much more in common than some other cultures. Their culture is exactly what American culture has been more of in the past; hard work to care for family and being God fearing people… if I can break it down into a nutshell.

    Buena trabaja, mi armana!

  8. Tracy

    Hi Lisa, such simplicity to show how easily we jump to conclusions. I don’t like it, when people jump to conclusions, but sadly I am just as guilty of doing so. Great post, dig a little deeper, we’re all very similar on the inside!
    God bless

  9. Maree Dee

    Lisa – I loved this – “Maybe God created us all to look a little different on our outsides so we’d look a little closer at our insides.” Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth and bringing it to our attention we need to jump to grace first.

    Yes, I am sure I have jumped to conclusions. I still do in my mind but hold the tongue. Now to stop doing it in my mind.





  10. Aimee Imbeau

    It can be very easy to jump to conclusions, can’t it? My husband says, “When you jump to conclusions, you trip over misinformation.” I love his little quote. Thanks for sharing on Grace & Truth.

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