OVERVIEW: Absalom deceives David and publicly criticizes him at the city gates, turning the hearts of Israel away from David and towards him. David flees to protect himself from Absalom.
BIG IDEA: Be a person of integrity.
KEY VERSE: 2 Samuel 15:6 (Absalom’s deception)
Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
Anyone can prosper through deception. That’s easy. However, it takes a healthy, faith-filled person to do the hard thing—the right thing—and address difficult situations head-on. But do it in a thoughtful, prayerful manner so that you honor the person with whom you’re speaking and me. Let others be attracted to me because of how you handle the situation. I will give you the strength you need. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Follow me.
Similarly, when someone approaches you, believing you mishandled a situation, don’t panic or get defensive. Get prayerful. And listen. Take it all in and allow the person to share all he or she wants to say. Do not cut them off. Then repeat back what you heard. Show them respect through being a good listener, and then apologize, if needed, or discuss your perspective calmly and politely. Focus on mending a relationship rather than being right. I will make right any injustice. I want you to honor me and live out what you believe.
Address conflict directly. Do not seek alternative ways to find peace. Ask God for wisdom and a friend for prayer support and counsel, and then speak directly with the person with whom you have conflict. Don’t worry about how you believe the other person should respond. Focus on what only you can control: doing the right thing yourself.