Scaling Down the Situation

Scripture: I Samuel 24 and 26

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn David respected those whom God had put into power, even though he knew he would one day replace Saul.
  • Students will learn we are not supposed to take revenge on others, but allow God to handle their consequences.
  • Students will learn David had to be patient and wait for God’s timing for him to be king.
  • Students will learn Godly ways to de-escalate situations with high emotions and will learn how to apply these strategies.

Guiding Question: How can we apply Godly strategies to resolve conflict with others?

Materials: Markers, crayons, pens, pencils, white paper

Procedure: Review the stories of David sparing Saul’s life twice from the scriptures above. Remind the students that David let Saul know he had spared his life so Saul would know he had no intent to kill him. Explain that David had to make Godly decisions while he was faced with conflict – not taking revenge, having patience, praying about what to do. Ask the students about times when they have gotten into an argument with someone and share how they handled it. Have the students share some of the right and wrong ways to handle conflict.

Tell the students that they are going to learn about Godly strategies that will help them de-escalate conflicting situations. Help students create personal anchor charts. This chart could be illustrated as stairs with Angry at top and Calm enough to resolve conflict at bottom. Each step will be a strategy for trying to help the other person calm down.

Suggested strategies:

  • Pray
  • Stay calm yourself
  • Ask the other person to help you understand why they feel this way
  • Actively listen to the other person (without stating your position)
  • Empathize with their emotion (don’t have to agree with their position) – “I can see this makes you angry/sad/confused/frustrated etc.
  • Give the other person some time and space to calm themselves before discussing the issue further,
  • Offer to get them a glass of water or snack to distract them a bit,
  • Encourage them to take a walk or run,
  • Ask them what they think would help them feel better right now (may or may not be able to provide),
  • Students may add additional strategies.

When the students are done with the anchor charts, they can take turns being angry or trying to use one or more of these strategies. Have students partner up and each pair can take turns being angry/sad/frustrated etc. and use one of the strategies from their anchor chart. After the pair is finished performing, ask the students how well they thought the strategy worked and/or what they could have done better.

Additional Questions: How does the Bible provide advice for different situations and struggles?
Supplemental Activity: Have the students research and make a list of Bible verses to turn to when they feel angry, sad, confused, scared, and lonely. Tell the students they can keep this with them so they know exactly where to turn to for Godly advice when they are feeling a certain emotion.

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