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Bad choices in the family business
2 Samuel 11:2-5
Recall that King David stayed home and sent others out to battle the enemy. And while David is at his house, a situation develops in which he makes some bad decisions.
It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.” (2 Sam. 11:2-5)
In this passage David makes a series of bad choices. He chooses to stay home when he should be at the battle. He sees a beautiful woman, and he makes a choice to find out about her. Then he chooses to send messengers to bring Bathsheba to him. He chooses to sleep with her, and she becomes pregnant. Each choice David makes deepens the difficulty of his situation. These and future poor choices have disastrous implications for his family and they challenge his relationship with God.
When we look back to difficult times in our families or family businesses, they often begin with a decision, or a string of choices, that have increasingly severe consequences. A choice to lie or exaggerate about a situation forces increasingly irrational defenses of indefensible behavior. A choice to treat someone poorly (for example, excluding someone, gossiping, screaming at a family member, or sending an accusatory email), leads to more behavioral decisions that deepen the cycle of conflict. Or, choosing to not communicate leads to the buildup of assumptions, on which more and more unfortunate decisions are based. A singular bad choice, or series of rapid but wrong choices, can quickly change the entire trajectory of the relationships and family business. As Rick Warren said, “Every time you make a bad choice, it becomes harder to make a good one.”
Have you, or someone you know, made a series of bad choices that could have been prevented? What strategies could you employ today that might keep you from making a series of poor decisions?