Then the king asked, “And where is Mephibosheth?” Ziba answered the king, “Mephibosheth is staying in Jerusalem. He said, ‘Today the Israelites will give my father’s kingdom back to me.’” II Samuel 16:3 (ERV)
Very often, we get to mediate in matters of conflict concerning two or more people and we make judgments – sometimes it is between married couples we are counseling, people on our work team, a boyfriend and his girlfriend, two business associates, or sometimes at home, between our children. REMEMBER THIS: In any dispute, the first person to tell their side of a story always seems right until you hear the other party. It is unwise to jump to conclusions without hearing all the sides of a story.
Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant came with a story about his master to King David: that he didn’t care for the king and was happy that calamity befell him. David unwisely concluded based on that and gave all of Mephibosheth’s inheritance to Ziba who had simply lied. Mephibosheth indeed loved David and appreciated all he did for him, although he was Saul’s son, but Ziba lied to David and the king erred in not trying to hear the other side.
Many people have lost their close friends and friendships because some ‘Ziba’ told them something hurtful their friend said about them which they didn’t bother to confirm, but rather they chose to separate themselves from their friend; or in some cases they just walked away from the relationship completely. We get gullible sometimes and we let some ‘Ziba’ whom we just met yesterday come in and tell us something about somebody we’ve known for 20 years and we believe him or her without hearing first from our friend.
Also, sometimes people make the mistake of investing in a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ business proposal from someone they know without proper investigation and gathering of all the facts. And in the end, that business deal becomes their downfall. Remember, if it is ‘too-good-to-be-true,’ it is probably ‘not true!’
The smart thing to do before you invest is to investigate. Before you marry that divorcee, who claims his/her ex-spouse was a difficult person to live with, pause, and get facts from those who knew them both – as much as you can. Before you buy that property from the person who says they want to sell it off cheaply because they are cash strapped, make sure you get all the facts from the appropriate quarters. Facts are your friends in making smart decisions – hunt for them, and don’t act until you have enough facts.
No matter what a story entails, it is never complete until you hear both sides. So don’t jump to conclusions; always hear both sides by putting effort in gathering facts. Don’t make up your mind on anything until you’ve paused and heard everything you need to hear about it. That is a smart way to decide!
Pause and consider the decisions that you need to make. Have you gotten all the facts yet? What will it take to get the facts?
Write down practical steps you will employ to get the facts in order to make it smart.