5 Steps to Taking the High Road in Conflict

How do we face threats when they arise? David faced opposition from someone, who in God’s plan, should have been an ally.

Saul was out to get David.  He was hunting him down like an animal.  And when David could have killed Saul and put an end to the conflict, David chose another way.  How easy would it have been for David to justify himself and say, “I’ve been anointed King. Saul has been rejected. Just finish it. Kill this guy and let’s get on with it.”

But David determined to do this with honor. And in that he protected his own heart. He protected the nation from a division that would have lasted generations. Let me tell you, when your future is being threatened by someone who should be working for your success, it is tough to take the high road. But that’s exactly what David did.

1 Samuel 24:11-17  “See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is not wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it. May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancient says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness.’ But my hand shall not be against you. After whom has the king of Israel come out? After a dead dog! After a flea! “May the Lord therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you, and see to it and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.” 

As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil.”  

How can we face opposition in a way that honors God, His purposes and His ways?

1. Show honor. David gave deference to the king.  We need to show deference to one another. In times of change and conflict people will deal with it many different ways. And sometimes, not meaning to make things difficult, they will. We need to show honor even to the ones who seem to be making it hard.

2. Show love. David loved Saul. He loved the nation. He loved God. We need to love God. We need to love the Body of Christ. And we need to love the people around us.  Even when they’re making life hard.

3. Speak the truth. You could almost hear David saying, “Saul, look at what you’re doing.” We do need to be honest with one another. If someone’s comments are inappropriate or damaging we need to say that.  There are times we must say, “Right now, you’re not helping the cause of Christ.”

4. Rest in God’s judgments. Know that ultimately, God will direct. He will move and the results are his.  No battle on this earth is ours.  They all belong to God.  We need to let him work the way he sees fit and be okay with that.

David didn’t allow himself to be killed. But he also didn’t allow the purposes of God to be thwarted by his own actions.  He refused to destroy the other, even though he became an enemy.  He left the end results to God.  Even thought it hurt, he refused to take it personally.

Many years ago a pastor friend of mine once said, “We can’t always choose whether or not we’re going to offend someone. But we can always choose whether or not we’ll be offended.”  We can choose how we will handle the hurts and difficulty caused by others.  Let’s choose to go through it trusting in God to redeem it and resolve it.  That’s taking the high road.

One last step?

5. Keep praising God.  David was hurt. But he focused on praising. Psalm 59:16-17 “But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sin praises to you, for you, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”

What kind of conflict are you facing?  How can you take the high road?

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