How many situations have you been in where you must pause, take a breath, and then proceed with caution?
You must make the often hard choice between the high road and the low road. The high road is always the hardest because you must stop and think ahead toward the consequences of whatever your reaction will be.
You must think outside of the situation and determine that you are better than what is being handed to you. But how do we go about getting to that way of thinking?
About six years ago, my son’s teacher at that time sent home a note that he was caught teasing a girl in his class about her looks. He was following the lead of a couple of other boys in his class that he likes to hang out with.
He chose the low road of being a follower instead of the high road in being a leader. I had a talk with him that night and asked him why he chose to tease that girl.
“Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.” 1 John:3-7
He explained that the other boys made it look fun so he joined in. Can you remember a time when you did something just because someone else was doing it?
I had to really get to the meat of the issue so that he could understand that following others at times can have consequences. He not only hurt the girl’s feelings but he was also disrespectful in the direction of what his father and I have always taught him.
“Do unto others, as you would have them do into you.”
Needless to say after our talk, he did go to school the next day and apologize to her. I can honestly say I am grateful that our kids are so resilient and forgive easily. But, as these situations arise, I know we must continue to teach the high road.
Just like my son being influenced into going low, we as adults get pulled in to taking the low road as well. Have you thought about what would have happened if Jesus had taken the low road? What if he decided to not show up to his own crucifixion? Where would we all be today?
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20
Whether we are at work, school, or just having time with family and friends, we all struggle with taking the high road. I can recall many situations where I could have reacted better to an argument or issue, but instead I allowed my anger or my past experiences to get the best of me. Can anyone relate to this as well?
The funny thing is that nine times out of ten, I was not reacting because of what was in front of me, I was reacting based on something else that happened totally separate from the situation.
When we succumb to low morals we make the situation worse, not better. And usually someone gets hurt by it.
Lastly, I challenge you to think before immediately reacting to things, this year. Remember those bracelets that said, WWJD(What would Jesus Do)? That saying, though simple, is very effective. I mean if you were to consider all the bad situations Jesus found himself in, but yet chose the high road, we of all people can choose to do the same.
“If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:7
Unfriendly and sometimes hateful workplaces, schoolmates, friends, family members, spouses, significant others, or just strangers will always be a factor in our lives at some point, but we can choose to not go there with them. No one is allowed to steal our joy!
Lord knows that I have had my fair share of mean spirited people in my life. Yet I can choose to be an example of God’s grace and mercy.
We can choose to add a bit of light in all the dark. And we can choose to be leaders and not followers. We can control the outcome, but we must first learn to control ourselves.
Like the former first lady Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high!” and just remember on this 8th day of 2021, you still got this!