2 Timothy 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
If conclusion jumping was an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist. You know what I’m talking about: someone says something vague to you and you immediately began a thorough investigation into what made them say that. “Why are they telling me what to do? Maybe they don’t like me. They obviously think I’m a terrible person.” You’ve probably had thoughts like these go through your head. Like me, you’ve made some impression jumps to conclusions. You could win a medal for it. Here’s the problem: conclusion jumping isn’t a sport that we ought to be participating in.
In his letter to Timothy, Paul gives an instruction. Then he immediately follows up the instruction with this statement: “I am saying this out of love and my heart is pure in it.” Why would Paul need to say that? Well, maybe there was a chance people thought he was just being a bossy jerk. I mean, have you read any of his other letters? He was man who was large and in charge. But here, he reveals his heart – because hearts can’t be read. They can’t be seen. They don’t always come through well with words or tone. And so they get misinterpreted and misunderstood.
The lesson here is that we can’t just make assumptions about Paul’s tone and then transfer those assumptions to intention of his heart. And if we shouldn’t make those assumptions about the Apostle Paul, then we shouldn’t make them about each other. If we truly love one another, qualifying statements shouldn’t be necessary. There’s only one true reader of hearts, and it isn’t you or me. So let’s get out of the conclusion jumping competition and start assuming the best in one another. If we do, we may discover a heart of gold in the most unexpected places.