Day 15 of 21
The dictionary defines the word compromise as this, to make a dishonorable or shameful concession. When I think of the word compromise I think of this; an attempt to justify what we are doing that is wrong by surrendering our values, integrity and ultimately the Truth in pursuit of power or things that we want.
"Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie."
I found this quote and it really made me stop and think. One without the other is a compromise. When I think of compromise, truth immediately comes to mind but not necessarily love.
A few weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with my children around the dinner table. They began talking about demons and angels. We talked about those moments when you want to do or say something that you know is wrong but you feel a battle taking place inside. Because my youngest son loves Tom and Jerry, he immediately spoke up and said "like the devil cat and angel cat that sit on Tom's shoulder?". Exactly! He got it. The more we talked, the more they began to realize truth. The Holy Spirit leads them to do right while their sinful nature leads them to do wrong. Now for my kids, as they thought this through, the choice made came down to the possible consequences. One of them said that they think about how their decision will affect me. Will I be upset or disappointed with them? What punishment will they face? Here is where love steps in.
My Children love me and want to please and make me proud. The truth is then that in order to make me proud and happy, they must follow my rules and respect me. They follow my rules and respect me because they love me. See how that works? Quite a simple equation until you look at it through the eyes of an adult.
Life is hard. God never promised it would be easy. I often find myself in situations where I have to choose whether I will compromise what I believe or stick to my guns. Sometimes I just do not have the energy to fight anymore and I surrender. I surrender to the temptation of compromise.
Then enters sin. Suddenly the lines become blurry and the area is gray. We are all willing to compromise at one time or another and to compromise the truth is to slowly destroy ourselves. When we compromise the truth, we compromise the purity of our soul. When we compromise the truth, we give Satan the power.
So how do we solve this dilemma? It all begins with love.
God's greatest command says we are to love God with all that is within us.
36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]"
From love follows truth and obedience;
15 "If you love me, keep my commands." John 14:15
It is SO simple. There is nothing left to discern. No reading between the lines. It is totally black and white. Love God. Obey God. There is no room for compromise.
There is so much to take in as I am beginning to see my faith in a very different way. Then I found this list on the internet.
Signs of a No Compromise Christian
They do not conform to the things of this world
Their number 1 goal is to be like Jesus
They love the LORD with all their heart, soul, mind and strength
They are actively separating themselves from all ungodliness
They do not watch sinful TV programs or movies
They do not read worldly magazines or books
They find no pleasure in listening to worldly music
They do not look up to worldly celebrities
They do not partner up with unbelievers
They are humble and have child-like faith
They seek to please the Lord, not man
They would rather suffer and die, than compromise their faith
They are actively fleeing from sin
They are generous, whether they are poor or wealthy
They share the gospel message with others
They have a desire for the truth of God's Word
They obey God and keep His Commandments
They are doers of the Word, not hearers only
They fear the LORD God and turn away from evil
They speak with encouraging, edifying and wise words
They do not gossip, or slander others
They pray with fervent prayers every day
They study the Word of God every day
They endure sufferings, hardships and trials for their faith in Jesus
They are ready and eagerly awaiting the soon return of their Lord Jesus
They hate the things of this world and know their real home is with Jesus
Everything they do is for the glory of God, NOT themselves
They are ready to give their lives for Christ Jesus
Really?? So is this really the only way to be a "true" no-compromise Christian? How in the world can I live up to this list? How can anyone live up to this list? How in the world can I bring people to Christ with this type of mentality, these set of rules? Life is not always black and white. It is not that simple. With this kind of list, I guess none of us will be making it to heaven! ~Frustrated Sigh~
~Deep breath. Focus. Remember!~ I am forgiven! I am free! I have been washed and made clean by the blood of Christ. His blood covers me! He wants ME not my works. He wants my love and obedience from a relationship with Him NOT a checklist!
I know that I need something to serve as boundaries or guidelines for myself. There are times in the middle of a trial that I need a reality check. I need something to test where I am headed. I need something to guide me in the direction of Truth instead of compromise. I want God to be pleased with my choices.
I know that I will never get it all right but I am learning that God loves me and He knows my heart. He knows how hard I try but that I do often fail. Just as my children could never do anything to lose my love, I too will ALWAYS have His perfect and unconditional love. So the truth of this lesson is simple. When we love God above all else, we follow His ways in order to please Him because we love Him. Because of truth and love, there is no room for compromise. Who do we choose to love?