By Allen White
Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
“If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”
King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled him on the pole he set up. Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.” Esther 8:3-8
Haman’s plot had been exposed, and he was punished by death (Esther 7:9-10). Haman’s estate was given to Esther to be run by Mordecai (Esther 8:7). This was certainly a surprising turn of events. For a queen who was hesitant to enter the presence of her king out of fear for her life, her brave actions paid off. But, one thing remained undone.
Even though the king understood Haman’s motivation to eliminate the Jews, the edict was still in place. The king knew the truth, but his kingdom did not. Esther made another bold entrance into the king’s court.
This time she was warmly received. Esther had kept the king from making the egregious error of killing all of the Jews, helped him avoid public humiliation, and allowed him to sleep at night. She had enough credit in the bank that she didn’t fear approaching the king this time.
Esther didn’t assume that the matter would be resolved. She took action to assure that the edict would be revoked and her people would be protected. It’s easy to assume if everyone appears to be in agreement that a decision has been made and action will be taken. But, if Esther hadn’t enter the king’s court the second time, then all of her efforts would have been in vain. Sure, Haman was dealt with, but his plan would have continued on as prescribed.
While you would think that the king would have acted on his own immediately, that assumption would have been the end of Esther’s people. Clear communication trumps assumption every time.
How many times has an assumption led to disappointment or conflict? You assumed that the other person understood things like you did. You assumed that after the conversation that they would do the right thing. You assumed that they would use their God-given common sense. Never assume.
What open loops do you have today? What were you expecting to be accomplished that’s still pending? Have you checked in with that person to see what’s happening? Maybe it fell off of their radar. Maybe it’s wasn’t as important to them as it was to you. Now, don’t get all obsessive and controlling. Ask, but only once.
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