Anytime I see someone assuming something to be the case, I remember hearing the warning, “Don’t ASSUME – it makes an “ass” out of u” and me!” If you’ve never heard that before, now you’ll never forget it. I have to say that the new Ammonite king was probably rethinking his decision to ever question King David’s intention. If only he had welcomed the sympathy David had sent!
We can fall into the same kind of trap. We can make assumptions of someone’s intention and end up either getting hurt ourselves or hurting the other person. Can you think of a time where this happened to you? We can then start to play the “if only” game. It’s impossible to go back and have a “do-over.” So what happens then? Is healing even possible?
In the case of the Ammonite king’s decision to deny the truth and fail to accept David’s good will, he lost lives and allies. Not the best way to start a reign. It’s not that he didn’t give it a good effort. He was trying to fix it by enlisting the help of all the neighboring armies. He didn’t realize he had not only angered King David but the LORD himself.
When the basis of our actions is built on a lie or an error in judgment, we fail. Failure isn’t the end of the story really. It can be the beginning of something good if we learn from our mistakes. You might think about the invention of the lightbulb. I have heard that Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before it worked. Instead, he found 10,000 ways that didn’t work!
It’s all a matter of attitude and perspective. How could the Ammonite king have avoided such an outcome? He could have ignored what his commanders were saying. They jumped to the conclusion that “David has sent them to spy out the city so they can come in and conquer it!” The more reasonable perspective would have been to look at the history between kings. It sounds like the relationship between David and the new king’s father had been good. Why believe anything had changed?
The lesson I’m taking away from this is not to jump to conclusions and expect the worst outcome. I tend to be more of a trusting person anyway, and that has often gotten me into trouble. However, if there is no reason to anticipate doom and gloom, don’t expect it! Look for the good in all things.
Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for the reminder in your word that jumping to conclusions is not a healthy way to approach a situation. Forgive me for those times when I have made wrong assumptions and hurt other people’s feelings. Help me to be an optimistic leader and encourage those around me to lead with love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.