Seeing both perspectives shows compassion to both parties, and yet sometimes you actually want someone to be the bad guy so you can justify your dislike of them!
1 Kings 2.13-27
Reference: v.15 “As you know,” he said, “the kingdom was mine. All Israel looked to me as their king. But things changed, and the kingdom has gone to my brother; for it has come to him from the Lord.” (NIV Bible)
Explore: There are always two sides to a story. It always used to amuse me when I wandered around the playground of the primary school as I would often hear two sides to one story. A regular situation occurred when a young boy, let’s call him Aiden, would run up to me in tears. Through the sobbing and the distress I would hear Aiden’s tale of unprovoked abuse where ‘Samuel came up and just hit me with a stick!’ I would ask why Samuel would do such a horrible act and Aiden would say that he had no idea why Samuel was so mean. When asking Samuel to recall the situation I would suddenly see a different side of the story. Samuel would explain that he and Aiden were playing together under the trees when Aiden started throwing sticks. Samuel asked him to stop but Aiden kept going and ended up throwing a stick and scratching Samuel’s arm. So in fair retribution Samuel had hit Aiden with a stick. And so I regularly heard two different stories from the one incident.
We always see a situation from our own perspective first. Adonijah is no different. In this passage we hear of the resentment that he holds as ultimately he feels that the kingdom should be his. He even uses the line that ‘all Israel looked to me as their king’, as if to say the masses had it right but the Lord decided differently. As his position on the throne has been thwarted he aimed to gain power through a new avenue.
Application: My mother taught me to see things from other people’s perspective. This process was often frustrating. Seeing both perspectives shows compassion to both parties, and yet sometimes you actually want someone to be the bad guy so you can justify your dislike of them! Often, if you dig a little deeper, you can see that the ‘bad guy’ is actually just someone who is misunderstood and a product of their upbringing.
We are often too quick to jump to conclusions and just see things from our own point of view. If we are all viewed as ‘children of God’ then it shines a different light on each situation. It gives us confidence in our self but also prompts us to think of others as God’s children too. It’s not always easy to consider two sides to a story but it certainly goes a long way in showing understanding, compassion and love.
Prayer: Lord, you are the original source of understanding, compassion and love. May we draw on your wisdom when dealing with difficult situations. Amen.
Can we excuse all negative behaviour because of upbringing or misunderstanding?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.