Blog: Max Dawson
November 16, 2015
This is one of those proverbs (though not found in the Bible) that expresses wisdom that we would all do well to heed.

The meaning is that you need to make sure of what is ahead of you before you make an irreversible decision. The proverb has often been applied to someone who rushes into marriage unprepared.

It can also carry the idea that you should be careful about jumping to conclusions. Sometimes folks leap to a conclusion before they have looked at all the facts.

The phrase may have originated in England among the upper crust who pursued the sport of chasing the fox. As the rider chased the hounds and fox across the English countryside he would often have to leap a fence or hedgerow. Jumping that obstacle without knowing what was on the other side could be dangerous. Hence, the saying “Look before you leap.”

For our purposes this morning I want to think about the phrase as it applies to leaping to conclusions. A couple of Scriptures are appropriate here.

“He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him. (Proverbs 18:13)

In 1 Timothy 6:4 the apostle warned Timothy about wicked men with corrupt minds who engage in “evil suspicions.”

The Proverbs passage proposes that we get all the evidence on a matter before we leap to a conclusion. To speak without the evidence is a folly and shame to the man.

The Timothy text teaches that we should be careful with suspicions about other folks. It is easy to get a little bit of information about others and then suspiciously conclude evil things about them. As an example, one brother was seen going into a bar; he was in there for more than an hour. It was obvious to the observer that “This Christian is a boozer–and he is drinking at nine o’clock in the morning when he should be at work!” The observer made this scandalous act known to half the church–only to learn later that the man worked for a local electric company. His job that morning was to replace a breaker box in the back of the building.

This person leaped to a conclusion without looking for all the facts.


I was once told the story of a couple who wanted to retire to Florida. The man and his wife had lived in Chicago for more than 30 years. They wanted to get away from the brutal winter weather. The man left with the U-Haul truck by himself, towing the Buick behind. Since the road trip in the truck would be too much for his ailing wife, she was going to fly down to Fort Myers in a couple of days.

When the man arrived in Florida he sent her an email to let her know he was there, but he made an error in the email address and the short message went to a lady in Nebraska, who had just buried her preacher husband the day before.

When the lady in Nebraska turned on her computer and read the e-mail, she screamed and fainted away on the floor. What did the note say?

“Hey Sweetie, Just wanted to let you know I arrived here last night. Looking forward to you being with me tomorrow. Signed, Your husband. PS: It sure is hot down here.”

While this story about mistakes and jumping to conclusions is a bit humorous, jumping to conclusions in real life can have serious consequences.

Look before you leap!

Blessings to all,