How do you respond when someone hurts you? Do you take the high road, or do you set the record straight, defend yourself, or seek a form of justice? The low road rarely leads to peace of mind. Can you relate? Today we will see how thinking about whatever is just helps keep our peace.
Why Take The High Road? Thinking Whatever Is Just
Peace of mind is something I long for, but how do I get it?
Are there people in your life who mistreat you, take advantage of you or drag your name through the mud? Believe it or not, those people are not who rob us of our peace.
There is a concept in Scripture that is so hard to put into practice. The idea of taking every thought captive.
- Thoughts that are good and bad.
Our thoughts can rob us of peace and tarnish our witness because they eventually leave our mouths. Or is that just me?
Why take the high road? Peace is on it.
What The Bible Says About Taking the High Road
We have been digging into Philippians 4:8 word by word to find ways to have peace. This passage comes up in lists of taking the high road quotes because it calls us to a higher standard. It demands even our thoughts be godly.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NASB (Click any of the words to go back in the study.))
Think on Whatever is Just
The word just or justice is often used when we are hurt or wronged and would naturally plan ways to retaliate or set the record straight.
When emotions are involved, the temptation is to stoop down to our offender’s level.
The meaning of take the high road is that we refuse to go low when others go low. We determine to stay holy, and righteous.
Justice in the Bible
The Bible talks a lot about justice, but most often it reminds us that God is just. The Justice of God is perfect and He is the one who will judge all men. He also tells us repeatedly that He will handle any revenge or vengeance.
This frees us to think just thoughts rather than vengeful thoughts.
Related Post: Can You Be Still When God Is Just?
How To Take The High Road
How do I learn to take the high road? It begins in our thoughts. We have to think thoughts that are pleasing to the Lord.
He tells us to think about whatever is just. How do we think thoughts that are just or about justice?
Try thinking: “Is this thought about the right or righteous thing to do in response?”The meaning of take the high road is that we refuse to go low when others go low. We determine to stay holy, and righteous. Click To Tweet
Taking the High Road Examples From Scripture
God gives us clear instructions about the right way to handle hurtful situations in Romans 12.
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone…
First, He says don’t pay people back. That is highly counter-cultural!
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Then He says to work hard at peace. That means, a lot of the time we need to not just vent all our feelings at others when we are hurt.
Why Should You Always Take the High Road?
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God…
Again, here he reminds us that God’s wrath is far better than ours. We need to be peaceful and allow God to move.
Why take the high road? Because God is on our side!
Why is taking the high road good? Honestly, when we leave vengeance to God and work toward forgiveness instead, we leave open a chance to share the gospel. Who knows if someone far from God will be drawn to Him because you responded so differently to their mess.
What Does Take the High Road Mean?
“But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:17-21 NASB)
Not only are we called to be peaceful and keep our mouths shut, but we are to be kind. What does it mean to take the higher road? He tells us to kill them with kindness. To love them, like He loves them, like He loves us.
When you take the high road, you show the love of God in a real way!
How To Always Take the High Road
So, how do we apply this take the high road meaning in a practical way? How do we think about whatever is just?
When someone has wronged me I refuse to plan ways to hurt them back. Instead of I do these four things:
- Take the hurt to God
- Own my part
- Keep my mouth shut
- Trust God to bring change
1. Take The Hurt To God
So, when someone has hurt me and I want to lash out I pause and pray. The truth is, He saw and He cares. I can take it all to Him.
When I take my hurt to God and seek His wisdom He helps me pursue peace the way Romans 12 commands.
My example here is David. When Davide was unjustly pursued he had some choices. He could have taken vengeance on king Saul many times, but over and over he sought the Lord and let the Lord direct Him. Over and over the Lord defended David. He is faithful and trustworthy!
“Because of his strength I will watch for You,
For God is my refuge.
My God in His faithfulness will meet me;
God will let me look triumphantly upon my enemies.” (Psalm 59:9-10 NASB)
2. Own My Part
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
Put me to the test and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NASB)
In that pause, I ask God to reveal to me anything I did that could have lead up to this bad situation.
Now, to be honest, it is not always my fault in any way, but sometimes it is… right?
- If I am in the wrong
- I own my part and try to make it right (Matthew 5:23-24).
- If I am in the right
- I ask God to defend me and work the situation out supernaturally.
God’s word is full of references to God being my defender, my protector, a strong tower I can run to when I am in need (Psalm 18:1-2).
Keep My Mouth Shut
Now, all of this is happening in the pause right after an offense, and during that pause, I am not speaking. It may feel like a weak move, but there is great wisdom in silence.
“Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.” (Proverbs 29:20 NASB)
Most of the time, when I am hurt, silence is best. At least at the moment. Unless I need to apologize for my part… but even then, I often wait until I have calmed down.
Later on, when tempers have cooled, there may be a moment to reconcile the relationship. But more than likely I will end up deep in sin if I open my mouth.
So I let God do the heart work and let tempers cool because if I open my mouth I will end up saying something to hurt the other person (Proverbs 21:23).
Trust God to Bring Change
Something beautiful happens when I keep my mouth shut in the head of the moment and just pray. God moves.
God is able to teach that person in ways that affect real lasting changes (Proverbs 16:9).
Have you seen this happen? It has happened so many times in my life that I have lost count.
Real, lasting change in the other person happens best when I pray about the situation first and wait for God to defend me before I bring it back up. My struggle is wanting to jump ahead of God and defend myself, but when I wait and pray amazing things to happen!
Taking The High Road of Just Thinking is Hard
What is it called when you take the high road? Humility.
God doesn’t always remove us from tough things just because we think justly and pray through the hard parts. It is tough.
What He does however gives us peace in the midst of the trials to overcome the anxiety and fear that threaten us.
It is hard to take the high road of justice. To keep our mouths shut and pray. To think thoughts that are of the right or righteous thing to do in the situation rather than plotting revenge. It’s really hard.
What Does it Mean for Someone to Take the High Road?
Taking the high road of justice means I have to get my head right. For my thoughts to be about righteous actions rather than revenge, I have to be in God’s word. His word has to sink deeply into every part of me.
I have to trust Him through every situation, even when I have been wronged.
How To Take The High Road in Marriage
If you are married, trying to live out a Christin marriage, the idea has to be more than just an idea. We have to practice taking the high road. It is not natural or normal.
When my husband does something that begs for a reaction I have to be intentional to take that pause. But even then, in the pause, I have to fight planning what to say to win the fight he is trying to start.
5. Practice the Pause
When learning how to take the high road in a relationship, you must practice the pause. Pause and pray… and if you mess up and spew back at him, confess that sin to God and try again.
There will be a next time. Keep trying. Keep practicing. At some point, the pause will be your default!
There was a season I kept the song on my youtube playlist just to remind myself. Go ahead, google the lyrics to you take the high road. Just letting the song play in your mind in that pause can help you get in the habit!
6. Offensive Fighting
The last point is to not wait until a fight comes. Don’t wait to pray for your relationship until you are hurting.
When learning how to take the high road in an argument, remember that we often argue over the same things. You could almost record it and let it play. So why not take notes next time and ask God to show you what is at the heart of the issue. Then make a prayer plan to cover those things before they become a problem again.
Strategic prayer is an amazing offensive weapon to fight for your marriage.
Related Post: How to Become a Strong Prayer Warrior and Why
Will You Take the High Road By Thinking Justly?
Whether you are learning how to take the high road in a break up or you are trying to think about whatever is just in your marriage, there are many benefits.
You will draw nearer to God and you will get to see Him move in powerful ways. Will you begin taking the high road today? Use these 6 ways and watch things change.
- Take the hurt to God
- Own my part
- Keep my mouth shut
- Trust God to bring change
- Practice the pause
- Fight offensively
Are there verses that help keep you centered in justice? I’d love to hear from you about it!
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