Half a rasher of bacon and half an egg were the breakfast rations at a Westport boarding house where my father lived in the early 1950s.
This was just after the Second World War when food rationing was in place in New Zealand.
The egg was fried ‘sunny side up’ so it could easily be cut in half. To fill their stomachs they would eat the half portions with lots of bread as bread was not rationed.
As my father told me this story it got me thinking about halves. In particular, about how many times I have jumped to a conclusion on something when I only know half the facts.
How many times have I listened to someone, or read something in the newspaper or online, and gotten only half the story?
I wonder how often I have had a complete account of a situation and know the unequivocal balanced truth.
Rarely would I have been in this situation. It is most likely to when I have experienced something first hand. Even then, a personal experience can be open to your own interpretation.
Seeking increased understanding
There are many obstacles to getting a complete understanding of a situation.
It could be influenced by the person telling the story. They may have their own slant on it.
Or part of the problem could be us. We only hear what we want to hear or read what we want to read.
As I grow older I have learn’t that there are always two sides to a story.
Wisdom teaches that it is better to take time to pause, weigh up and sift the facts. Life can be complicated and there are not always easy answers.
If someone is passionate about something and their passion causes them to speak or write in a slightly biased way, it is still well worth exploring the reasons behind their belief.
This may well reveal a gem of understanding that you would not have realised, if you had rushed for judgement without exploring further.
What does God think?
I do not believe that God wants us to rush for judgement.
I do not believe that we should believe everything we hear or read, without question. We must use our own discernment.
Jessie Penne- Lewis in her classic book ‘War on the Saints’ talks about the dangers of inaction. She says that rather than us being a passive slave, God requires us to co-operate with him fully, through His Spirit, and act intelligently.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I am slowly learning not to quickly jump to conclusions on matters. I need to use my own discernment in co-operation with the Holy Spirit to seek out a fuller understanding and truth.
And we must not become robotic in our thoughts.
Bill Johnson from Bethel church in Redding, California describes this rather eloquently:
“We are not designed to be robots. We are planted in a kingdom and invited to explore”.
We can rest knowing that nothing is hidden from God and God will have the final say.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”
“For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
And by using our own discernment in co-operation with the Holy Spirit.
By not rushing to a conclusion on a matter. By dialing down rather than up, we can avoid having egg on our face.
Wayne worked in the media for more than 30 years before leaving to follow a call to set up The Daily Encourager, a values based media showcasing the best of New Zealand society. He has a passion for Jesus, enjoys walking, ball sports, the arts and song writing.