A recent study in Scientific American highlighted how and why people jump to conclusions. One experiment involved participants watching fish being pulled from two ponds and asked to make determinations accordingly. Some participants made snap judgments after seeing only one or two fish, while others watched more patiently. It turned out that those who drew the quickest conclusions with the least data were also the most likely to believe baseless things in other parts of life. In other words, their habits of thinking kept them from the truth.
As Proverbs 18 says, “To answer before listening— that is folly and shame.” Jumping to conclusions is a universal cultural trait; we all do it. But Christians who love the truth and know its importance must think differently. This is especially true online, where algorithms are designed to feed our biases and our outrage. Proverbs is right: we should listen first, always ask questions and think critically, and only answer when we know.
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