By Kolleen Lucariello | July 22, 2017
Like many others I know, my husband and I are fans of the show, Fixer Upper. Are you? We enjoy the ability Chip and Joanna Gaines have of taking an old beat-up house and renovating it into the best looking home on the street. We also enjoy their ability to work together as a team to create a home, a family, and laughter. They make us laugh. And let’s not forget their faith.
We appreciate how they live their lives of faith. So, imagine my surprise when I began to see advertisements on social media suggesting Joanna was leaving Fixer Upper. “The real reason Joanna Gaines is leaving Fixer Upper” the headline declared. One rumor indicated she was pregnant with baby number five. Another said she was starting her own line of skin care. Umm, what? No more Fixer Upper? Not so fast. Thank goodness Joanna shed some light on the “misinformation” when she posted, “Don’t believe everything you read” on her blog. Unfortunately, the articles still had time for people to become victims of a facial cream scam and caused many others to hyperventilate as they tried to understand just what was going on.
Okay, hyperventilate might be a stretch, but every time I saw another article I spent time playing a game I know well: The Speculation Game. I find myself a contestant when, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, I begin to have “ideas or guesses about something that is not known.” I indulge in the game when I take something “to be true on the basis of insufficient evidence,” or “review something idly or casually and often inconclusively.” Oh yes, I have played the game more than a few times.
When, you might ask?
- Each and every time I’ve had ideas or guesses about someone, or a situation, I really knew nothing about. Proverbs 13:3 warns, “The one who guards his mouth [thinking before he speaks] protects his life; The one who opens his lips wide [and chatters without thinking] comes to ruin”(AMP). I’ve guessed. I’ve had ideas. But without revelation – it’s
only speculation. And that often crosses the line.
- There are also the times I’ve taken the words (okay, maybe it was gossip) I’ve heard from others—about others—and swallowed every sweet morsel without any evidence of truth. Proverbs 18:8 speaks truth! “There’s nothing so delicious as the taste of gossip! It melts in your mouth” (CEV). And, as hard as I try to keep gossip far from my lips, it has a knack for finding its way there. Assuming everything we hear is true, without any evidence, will lead us to speculate…which leads us to guess and form ideas…and opinions. Ugh. What a dangerous cycle!
- And then there’s my ability to assess “something idly, casually and often inconclusively” yet form the strongest opinions. Allowing my mind to wander in the midst of conversation, quickly skimming through information, or failing to secure important facts, makes it very easy to jump to my own conclusions. When I do, I’ve been known to – dare I say it – get it wrong. “Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions” (Proverbs 18:2, NIV). Ouch.
When I guess and form ideas, assume truth without evidence, or review something casually and inconclusively, I risk judging a situation—or someone—I know nothing about. As I allow the Lord to change my identity—one letter at a time—I’ll spend less time speculating and more time validating.
V-Validate others by seeking truth
Kolleen is the author of the devotional book, The ABC’s of Who God Says I Am.
Read more by Kolleen at http://www.speakkolleen.com/