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My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

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Wrong Conclusions

By Fran Caffey Sandin

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge (Proverbs 18: 15 ESV).
He who trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered (Proverbs 28: 26 ESV).

“Jim!” I gasped. “Come here and see this!”
As my hubby and I peeked through the blinds from our upstairs bedroom, my voice rose an octave, “Look at our neighbor’s patio wall! Should I call the police? You know we are told, ‘If you see something, say something.’”

What we saw was out of character for our conservative community. From the upstairs bedroom window, we could see the adjoining downstairs patio. A string of bright lights outlining a large Swastika, several feet tall, occupied most of the wall. Of course, my thoughts raced to the conclusion that something evil was brewing next door. Then it occurred to me from the Scripture that we are not to make a hasty judgment without getting all the facts. Jim concurred. My heart beating faster as my computer search began, I learned something I didn’t know.

The Swastika is an ancient religious symbol considered to be a sacred and auspicious in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and dates back at least 11,000 years. It has been used as a decorative element in various cultures and especially the Indian religions since the Neolithic Age. It was adopted by the Nazi Party and Nazi Germany prior to World War II. So, in the Western countries, especially the USA, it has been highly stigmatized because of its association with Nazism. Wow! I am so glad I didn’t follow my initial inclination to pick up the phone and report our neighbor’s patio lights.

One day when out walking, we met our neighbor, a nice man of Indian descent. The aroma of curry spice wafted through the air as we exchanged niceties, and when Jim closed our conversation with God bless you, the man responded pointing upward and said, “I am very religious.” So, that explained everything. Sometimes I say something without thinking it through or form an opinion without knowledge from every source. Lesson learned.

Jumping to the wrong conclusion also happened to people in the Bible. In the book of Esther, King Ahasuerus learned that Esther’s uncle Mortdecai had on one occasion saved the King’s life. The King’s chief officer, Haman, who wanted to kill all the Jews, happened to visit the King shortly after the King found out about Mortdecai’s gracious deed. The King was wondering how he could reward Mortdecai so, without identifying the recipient, he asked Haman, “What should be done to the man the King delights to honor?”

Haman, puffed up and proud of himself and his official standing, thought the King was planning to honor him so he said, “Let royal robes and a royal crown be placed on the man who rides the royal horse. Then let him be led through the city square with the proclamation, this is the man the King wishes to honor!

The King said to Haman, do everything you mentioned and place the royal robes on Mortdecai. What? Haman was horrified! He hated Mortdecai and had even built gallows with a plan to hang him. However, Queen Esther revealed Haman’s wicked heart to the King, and as it turned out, Haman was hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Queen Esther had saved the lives of the Jewish people. Because of his pride, Haman thought he would be exalted.
Another Biblical principle is that pride goes before a fall, and Haman had a big one.

Our Indian neighbors stayed only a short time. The Swastika lights were off and removed. Our paths did not cross except that one time, but God used the incident to teach me to wait and consider the facts before choosing a wrong conclusion and making a foolish move.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the timeless principles you set forth in your Word.
Help us to be diligent students, searching for truth, and applying it in our everyday lives.
Forgive us when we think too highly of ourselves and help us gain and apply Your wisdom in difficult circumstances. In Jesus’s name, amen.