“You have many choices. You can choose forgiveness over revenge, joy over despair. You can choose action over apathy.” ~ Stephanie Marston
Some people just like to fight. They have a chip on their shoulder and it doesn’t take much to set them off. Bullying isn’t limited to school yards. Those bullies grew up and have wandered into positions of leadership everywhere. The goal of these leaders is to be “King of the Hill” by pushing everyone else down. They are insecure and use the power of their position to control people.
The way we treat those we lead, will set the standard for how our people treat each other. The example of the leader will be reflected in the culture of the organization. If the leader maintains healthy relationships, the overall health of relationships in the organization will be good. Remember, how we value people will determine how they value our leadership.
When faced with conflicts, we can take one of three roads: The Low Road is the path that fights back and seeks to control and even harm others. This is the road of revenge. The Middle Road avoids conflict and leaves issues unresolved and lingering. This is the road to nowhere. The High Road is the best choice. It is the road of grace and truth that leads to “peace and life.” Read and reflect on these words of wisdom from King Solomon:
Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Proverbs 14:29-30 NIV)
Positive treatment of others produces “a heart of peace” that “gives life to the body”. The implication is that negatively treating others will bring the opposite of “peace and life” resulting in “war and death”. Solomon says the quick-tempered person is a fool that “displays folly”.
Be wise in how you treat people, especially those who are difficult. The choices we make each day about how to treat people will ultimately place us on one of the three roads. Seek to be patient and gain understanding. Which road you take is your decision alone.
Self-control, understanding, patience and a positive attitude will lead you to the high road. When faced with a conflict or threatened by the unfair actions of others, simply pause. Slowly inhale a deep breath. Take a timeout. And choose “The High Road to Peace and Life”. It is never easy but it is always right and rewarding to take the high road. Leaders who take the High Road sleep very well at night.
There will most likely be times today when you will need to decide how to respond to a difficult situation. Don’t wait for the heat of the moment to be upon you, prepare now by choosing which of the three roads you will take. Decide to take the High Road today no matter how difficult the situation might be. It’s always the right road!