Pastor JT Wright with Airport Boulevard Baptist Church in Mobile joins us to talk about working out our differences through the teachings of David. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Chad: We wanted to talk about David and conflict resolution. What can one of the most famous figures in the Old Testament teach us about conflict resolution?
Guest: Just about everything written about David features conflict. It’s also a great record of how he got it right, and how he got it wrong.
Chad: David settled the Goliath conflict with a slingshot–but how else did he solve problems?
Guest: David learned early in life to take things to the Lord. Many of his successes feature his dependence on God. His failures definitely can be attributed to his failure to trust God. Throughout his life, David surrounded himself with friends that could speak difficult truth to him. They were also trustworthy, loyal, and reliable. They helped guide him to the right path. His respect for Saul, his treatment of Saul while he was on the run, his encounter with Nabal, and other decisions are great examples.
Chad: How do we incorporate David’s teachings into our own lives?
Guest: Totally surrender yourself to Jesus, and put your dependence on Him. The Holy Spirit leads us to do what’s best. Find a friend or friends that can be honest with you. These are folks you can trust to walk with you during hard times and aren’t worried about trying to please you. Their words and actions toward you reflect a love that has to be tough every now and then.
Chad: Bad choices also led to conflict in David’s life, what can we learn from his mistakes?
Guest: You mentioned that David solved problems, but his failures in resolving conflict created more problems. His poor conflict resolution centered around personal pride and selfishness. Think Bathsheba, the census late in his life, his failure to confront the conflict in his own family. He wasn’t listening to wisdom, and he certainly wasn’t depending on God. The greatest lesson here is to affirm the positives we’ve mentioned, but also to see how David handled these failures. He went to God, was frank about his failure, and moved forward with a determination to make the next conflict an opportunity to do the right thing.