Context Matters

Open Bible 1“He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him.” Proverbs 18:13.

My family and I have been traveling this MLK weekend. We drove out to Fort Hood to visit with my son and his precious wife. In one of our conversations, my son Dillon reminded me of a very important truth…Context matters.

It is easy enough to form a strong opinion about something we see on the news. We hear a perspective and dig in our heels on what we think happened and why. What’s crazy is…sometimes…we find out later that there was information we did not know when we came to our firmly held belief. Once this new information comes to light…we may shift our view.

This is true of politics and economics. It is often true of our observations of decisions that leaders make. It is true relationally. Someone walks by without speaking. We “assume” that the reason is “us.” As a result, we “decide” that we won’t put up with that and sever the relationship. If we had considered the circumstance from the other party’s perspective for a moment, we might have developed a different opinion.

True humility is demonstrated in our willingness to understand all of the fact prior to declaring our understanding. This is wisdom. Humility assumes that we might not have all of the facts about a relationship. Humility assumes that there is another angle to the story. Humility assumes there is a possibility that we are WRONG.

Wise men walk in humility. Wise men leave room to change their minds if new information surfaces. Wise men withhold opinions until they know the context. They seek context before declaring their position realizing that context is key to understanding.

Humbly choose wisdom.

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