As every happily married couple will testify, there must needs be a lot of give and take in marriage: a lot of compromise. Many workplace problems are solved with a happy compromise. Many political decisions and even International situations are solved by a happy compromise.
But are there occasions when compromise is wrong?
Is compromise sometimes one sided?
Let me start with a little make-believe story:
A hunter was out stalking bear. He came across a large bear, raised his rifle and took careful aim. He couldn’t miss and with his equipment, he was sure of victory.
As he was about to pull the trigger the bear saw him, and spoke in a soft, soothing voice “Just a minute. Isn’t it better to talk than to shoot? What do you want? Surely we can negotiate. Let’s sit for a while and talk it over.” The hunter lowered his rifle and replied, “Well, all I want is a fur coat to keep me warm” The bear responded, “That is a reasonable and negotiable request. I only want a feed. Let us sit down and work out a compromise.”
So they sat down to negotiate and after a time the bear walked away alone.
The compromise had been successful.
The bear had a full stomach and the hunter was wearing a fur coat.
The fact is that compromise isn’t always of equal benefit to each party and often causes harm. So when should we refuse to compromise?
We hear a lot about being “tolerant” and “accepting”
The world today is shouting this at us from all directions. The government tells us we have to discard our Christian traditions because our newcomer Moslems are offended by them. We have to accept that all religions are equal and all beliefs will lead to God; that life after death is whatever you choose to believe.
Yes, we have to accept all newcomers to our nation as equal citizens, but we do NOT have to compromise our principles.
Of course we need to be tolerant, but will tolerating bad behaviour in a child lead to his becoming a good citizen or a future vandal or criminal? Will tolerating “soft” drugs lead to a wholesome lifestyle, or will it lead to drug abuse, drug pushing and death? Will tolerating bullying in school lead the bully to become a good father or will it lead to a life of crime, or to becoming a wife beater and child abuser?
Today we hear much of “moderation in all things”
We are told to compromise because a little bit of anything won’t hurt: just don’t let it go too far. That philosophy has lead many on the path of drunkenness, drugs, sexual promiscuity, wife-beating, child abuse, violence, vandalism – you name it. Many will try to convince us that while purity might be desirable it can be taken too far; or while truth is desired “white” lies are necessary; or that error shouldn’t be denounced because people have rights to live as they please.
We hear a lot about “rights”
I believe in individual rights. I believe each person has a right to live (and die) by their own perception of life. That doesn’t necessarily make their perception right, but they have that right, as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else or involve an action against the law. Abortion (murdering an unborn child) is a case in point.
We all like to please others – our partner, friend, boss, co-workers, etc. but there will often be times of dilemma when we cannot please all concerned, or even one individual while maintaining our integrity.
Sometimes compromise is wrong.
Sometimes it is one sided.
What standard will you use for your decision?
If compromise causes harm to anyone, then for me compromise is wrong.
If compromising my ideals, morals and ethics is involved, then for me compromise is wrong.
So what standard do I use?
I use the Word of God which I believe to be nothing less than the actual Word of God breathed into human writers. Other people may have different standards, but FOR ME there can be NO COMPROMISE with HIS standards.
The living God of the Bible insists that He alone is God. There is no other God besides Him. To modern ears, this may sound intolerant, or even arrogant. It certainly conflicts with modernism, which claims that more or less everyone and everything can be god: that we can choose our own.
God leaves no room for compromise. He alone is God.
For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God,
who formed the earth and made it, who has established it,
who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited:
“I am the Lord and there is no other”
Look to Me and be saved. For I am God, and there is no other”
Nor is there salvation in any other,
for there is no other name under heaven, given among men,
by which we must be saved
Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
NO ONE comes to the Father, except through ME.
I have known, loved and served this God, through the Lord Jesus Christ, for 54 of my 76 years. I have experienced the REALITY of His presence in my life. For me there can be NO COMPROMISE with HIS standards.
in the words of musician Keith Green:
“No Compromise is what the whole Gospel of Jesus is all about . . . ‘For I tell you . . . no man can serve two masters . . .’ (Matt. 6:24). In a day when believers seem to be trying to please both the world and the Lord (which is an impossible thing), when people are far more concerned about offending their friends than offending God, there is only one answer . . . Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow Him!“