Most of the time we make postulations and summations only to find out that we might be wrong. Generally, we often make or draw conclusions even though the information we have may be incomplete and inadequate. Solomon would then advice that, ‘in the midst of many counsels and guidelines, there is safety’.
Many organisations have been destroyed, many countries are under developed and many relationships, associations and marriages have come to an abrupt end, majorly because of wrong information, among other reasons. Looking back at the destroyed establishments, one would discover that more than half of them were somehow destroyed because of wrong information and counsel.
Inevitably, when we are taught wrongly or have wrong information, the wrong information that we have poses an increased risk to society as a whole. When one is presented with a statement of unknown accuracy, the person will gravitate or respond to the wrong information with the preconceived notion that they have the correct information.
Intrinsically, we all have one bias or the other which affects how we receive information. When we hear any information, we subconsciously check if the statement agrees with our bias or not; if it does agree with our bias then there is that tendency to believe the information even more strongly. When the information does not agree with our bias, we tend not to change our opinions, but rather rationalize and find validation in the things we already believe, rejecting the new information no matter how true it is.
In other words, what supports our beliefs or prior convictions will be new and fresh and therefore have authority and credibility. On the other hand, if the information turns out negative or contrary to our belief system, we deem this preposterous and instantly dismiss and discharge such information, again even though the information is the truth.
Finally, when we come to terms with the futility of our belief system, we find it very difficult to be corrected because it means we have to change our entire belief system and everything we have ever epitomised. Tough one! Only pride would make us stick to a wrong information and refuse to change our stand. This would most likely stem from the pain we will sustain through our ego, by having to accept that we were wrong and hence our finding it very difficult change. Our reputation and self-esteem is going to be dented, questioned and no one wants that, even though wrong information is a danger to our lives and our generation looking at the complete panorama.
The decisions we have made, the ones we are going to make would be restricted to how much we know or the information we have gathered, whether true or false. It would therefore be sufficient to gather right information so as to be able to make logical, wise and quality decisions in our day to day living. The depth of true information determines how well the outcome of our decisions can be, and the reverse is true.
We read in the Bible of a young boy called Mephibosheth. He was the son of David’s bosom friend, Jonathan: the only male child left in Saul’s house. David had conquered Goliath and by the victory Saul had taken interest in him as the only threat and intimidation to his throne. The people had sung, “Saul killed the one thousand and David, ten thousand”. In the mind of Saul, David had to die in case the people might want to make him king. So, he looked for a way to oust him.
King Saul did everything possible to kill David and this was known to Jonathan, who betrayed his father to David by letting him know the plan (hatched in the Palace) on how he was going to be killed. He virtually saved David from dying in the hands of his father by assisting him to escape. It was documented that before David escaped from Saul, they both made a covenant to be gracious and kind to each other including their families, not knowing what would befall any of them. Now note that covenants were binding in their time.
In the search for David, King Saul went on rampage with his army (at the Battle of Mount Gilboa); at all cost David must die. Eventually, Saul killed himself by falling on a sword, after his servant refused to kill him and this was known to all of Israel. The information finally got to the people at home (Palace), including Mephibosheth’s nanny or nurse. Their synopsis was that David killed Saul. Mephibosheth was five years old at this time and as the grandson of Saul, he was heir apparent to the throne. David did not kill the King. That was wrong information and mere speculation.
On hearing this catastrophe, his nurse tried to flee with Mephibosheth from Gibeah, the royal residence (thinking David would come for the male son or grandson). In her haste to flee, she dropped Mephibosheth and he became disabled in both of his legs. His condition would thus disqualify him from becoming king. His name was called Mephibosheth, which means “shameful thing”.
She carried the boy to the house of Machir. Her reasoning was that David is the reason why we live in this dump, David did this to you he made you become lame in your feet. Mephibosheth would have lived with this piece of information all his life and the hatred for David and his family would have been entrenched, ingrained and deep rooted in his heart. He lived in fear and was ignorant of the fact that there had been a covenant between David and his father. Their choice for where they lived was based on wrong information they hung on to. They lived at Lo-debar, a dry place. He would have had people around him who would have written him off because of his present predicament. He would need helpers who would need to carry him from place to place. He was limited and could not walk as a result of wrong information and supposition.
Some years after David had subdued all the adversaries of Israel, he remembered the covenant he had made with Jonathan. He called for his servant and enquired if there was anyone left in the house of Jonathan that he could show kindness. He was told from his discoveries about Mephibosheth and asked for him to be brought to him. The day David set his eyes on him was the last day Mephibosheth stayed at Lo-debar. There was a change and complete transformation because Mephibosheth stayed in Jerusalem, living in the Palace and also eating at the King’s table.
He wouldn’t have been lame in his feet if they had gotten the right information. He wouldn’t have lived in the dry place. Sometimes the people we love and trust are the ones that usually drop us. He was damaged due to wrong information. His nurse was wrong in her summations and for such a long-time they lived with the wrong knowledge. His name means “a shameful thing”, “out of my mouth proceeds reproach”. He was damaged but was delivered by the same David who he had deep hatred for.
God disclosed, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.