>Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”

“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”

“Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.” Esther 5:3-8

Rather than focusing on the problem, Esther chooses to focus on the relationships. She doesn’t start the party by blurting out accusations like a crazy person. She entertains not only the king, but also Haman who instigated the plot. Why even invite Haman?

Haman didn’t have the power to act, but he did have the power to influence. Sure, the king could reverse the edict and save the Jewish people, but Haman would just wait until the next opportunity.

It was wise to include Haman in the dinner. This way everyone involved in making the decision would experience the same things and participate in the same conversation. There was no room for interpretation or exaggeration outside of the meeting. No one would forward portions of their emails. They would work all of this out together.

Esther’s banquet invitation led to a second invitation. Whether this was the decorum of the time or a way of showing courtesy and building into the relationship, Esther certainly wasn’t stalling for time. The date had been set. Action needed to take place quickly.

Who are you at odds with right now? How would you rate that relationship? Do you tend to go around this person? Do you go over their head or behind their back? Maybe it’s time to figure out a way improve the relationship. I know that you’d rather have a root canal, but there will be a time when you are grateful for having built this relationship rather than avoiding the person.

What’s the first step?

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