1. Beware of truths that demand your immediate reaction.
Time and process are the natural enemies of emotion. When we’re told we don’t have time to stop and think, it’s a good time to stop and think. Due process was created to protect justice from strong emotions, and we need it most when we want it least.
2. Beware of truths that require you to forget other truths.
There is no conflict between moral principles, and they are all summed up in the instruction to “love your neighbor as yourself”. If we are asked to elevate one moral principle by suppressing another, we can be sure we are being misled.
3. Beware of truths discovered within the last few days.
A wise old king once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” If a principle is true today, it was true last year, and it will be true next year. It is our reaction that changes – not the truth we are reacting to – and it is our reaction that should be examined, in the light of all we know to be true.
4. Beware of truths that inspire people to steal, kill and destroy.
As a rule, good trees produce good fruit – peace, humility, reconciliation. A tree that routinely produces anger and violence is probably a diseased tree.
5. Beware of revolutions based on condemnation.
We are advised not to judge – even people we know – because it’s hard to be fair and we are often guilty of the same faults we condemn in others. It feels righteous to rise in judgement, but it is wrong, and all the more wrong when we judge people we don’t know – especially so when our judgement is based on broad generalizations.
6. Beware of revolutions based on conformity.
God may accept a humble and broken heart, but men are not so easily satisfied. They want displays of conformity and their joiners want signs of acceptance. If conformity (which everyone can see) is more important than having the right heart (which only God can see), the revolution is moving in the wrong direction.