David’s hasty mistake

April 30, 2011 — Leave a comment

2 Samuel 19 brings us the glorious story of King David’s return to power.  Because of the rebellion of his son Absalom, David had been living in exile for quite sometime.  During this time he experienced the pain of people rejecting him personally and rebelling against his leadership corporately.

As David returned to Jerusalem, Ziba, a servant to Mephibosheth, hurried out to David proclaiming that Mephibosheth had also rebelled and joined with Absalom (Mephibosheth is the lame son of Jonathon that David rescued and placed in the palace as one of his own sons).  David became very angry when he heard the news of this betrayal.  He immediately took action against Mephibosheth.  He stripped him of his inheritance and position.

However, when David actually returned to Jerusalem, He found out the other side of the story.  Mephibosheth in fact had not betrayed David.  Moreover he hadn’t shaved nor washed himself because of the great hurt he felt at the loss of his king.  He told David that he didn’t care about his inheritance, he just wanted the king back.  David had just learned a valuable lesson: never judge a matter over one side of the story.

I have been guilty of the same thing many times.  Taking one side of the story and making snap judgments about somebody before I gave them a chance to explain themselves.  The result?  Frayed relationships.

My advice to anybody when handed one side of a matter:

1. Always give your friend the benefit of the doubt.
2. Have some face time with them and let them explain their side of the story.
3. If you find yourself in David’s dilemma; repent by asking your friend for forgiveness when you make the mistake of misjudging.
4. Don’t let yourself be the go to person for church gossip.  If you are, that tells you a lot about your own character flaws.