Unfortunately, most of us are guilty of it. Some call it “jumping to conclusions” (which, as it has been noted, can be a very painful exercise), others “reaching a verdict without a trial.” This usually happens when we venture to guess another person’s motives or judge a person’s life without having all the facts. The danger of this is that we can be certain of our conclusion, then find we have missed the truth by the proverbial mile.
PRESUMPTION CAUSES ONE TO KNOW BEFORE HAVING INFORMATION. Solomon, by inspiration, says, “He who gives an answer before he hears, it is folly and shame to him” (Prov. 18:13). That applies to poor listeners in a conversation, but also faulty perception about one’s circumstances. It is a biblical principle to be certain of a situation before ever uttering a word about it. Think of how foolish it is to pass judgment without a full hearing.
PRESUMPTION CAUSES ONE TO HAVE BOLDNESS WITHOUT FOUNDATION. In 2 Peter 2:10, Peter references certain unrighteous ones, saying, “Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” They fearlessly and recklessly speak against others, even those in authority, based on personal opinions they confuse with the truth (here is the idea of “self-willed” or “arrogant”). They rant and rave about the object of their fury based on preconceived notions that they will not clutter up with the actual truth.
PRESUMPTION CAUSES ONE TO SIN WITHOUT RESTRICTION. This is why David prayed, “Also keep back your servant from presumptuous sins” (Psa. 19:13a). It is a prayer for self-control against willful sinning. He speaks of this same, arrogant spirit, using a word elsewhere translated “proud.” Willfully entering into sin hardens the heart, including saying something against somebody which we are certain we do not know with certainty is true.
Understand, presumptuous sin takes in much more than our subject, but includes it. Its synonyms are ugly–audacity, impudence, and gall. Yet, it is something against which all of us must daily fight! It is so easy to convince ourselves that we know what is driving other people or what has landed them in their present circumstances. It got Job’s friends into a big problem. Let us remember this rule: Substantiate before you propagate, and then only carefully and prayerfully!