King Saul had a knack for justifying his disobedience. Before attacking the Amalekites, Samuel clearly instructed Saul to destroy the people and their livestock (1 Sam. 15:3). No exceptions. After the battle, Samuel pays Saul a visit amid the bleating and lowing of the captured livestock. Saul justified his actions by saying that they only kept some of the best of the livestock, so that they could offer them as sacrifices to the Lord. Samuel doesn’t buy it.
The pressures of leadership and our desire to keep people happy may tempt us to try to justify our partial obedience. Yet, as we see from the story, partial obedience is disobedience.