The Low Road
As is often the case in life, one of the keys to successful relationships, feels incredibly counterintuitive. No one naturally assumes that the best way to live life is to consistently take the low road. Admittingly, I am not using the term the way most people understand it. The low road, to me and the men that I run with, refers to humility. My nature is to look out for my own best interest, to protect my pride, and to defend myself. This comes almost instinctually to all of us. But what we have found by doing life together is that most often my natural reaction to look out for myself, leads only to destruction. When criticism comes, or I’m faced with an attack on my character, or there is a need to have a difficult conversation, we find that most often our “fight or flight” instincts kick in. We “bow up”, our hearts start to race (accompanied often with forehead veins) and we are ready to defend ourselves. Again, this is a natural instinct.
We have all lived these instances and have all seen the way it typically goes. People get in arguments, harsh words are exchanged, feelings get hurt and nothing redemptive really happens.
Can we suggest a different strategy?
We have found that if we “lay our pride at the door”, ask God to give us humility, come in predetermined to not get offended, and ready to extend grace and compassion, so often reconciliation and redemption takes place. We have navigated some very difficult conversations and overcome some very dicey situations by employing this strategy. Often, we can better understand where the other person is coming from and get to the real heart of the issue so much more quickly when we decide ahead of time to come in low. Don’t get me wrong…this is 100% a work of the Spirit of God in us! But it starts by recognizing what is natural in us, and asking God to do something super-natural instead.
This heart posture works in conflict in marriage, parenting our children, and in the workplace. We will tackle this issue in more depth in an upcoming podcast, but for today, can I suggest you try to walk for just a little while on the low road?