Why is it now that we have begun to view that word compromise with such skepticism? Is it because we are so often forced to break a promise; in these days to a constituency. Perhaps even more, to our own ideas and ideals.
Webster has defined it; ” An amicable agreement to settle differences” and further; in my mind more accurately: to endanger the interests of “. Our security system, for instance may be said to have been compromised, breached. So can our appointed mission be also.
A list of common interpretations might go like this;
We will ask for ten so that we can settle for five (which was all we wanted in the first place).
We will call it a “tit for tat” exchange. You owe me nothing.
Half a loaf is better than none!
We can look with suspicion at a “Wheeler – Dealer”.
Are we trading our “beef” for someone’s “pork”?
In a pinch we can “tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth”, so help me someone.
Exactly when do we become an obstacle rather than a partner in a solution to common problems. To be certain our lawmakers have not figured this out.
Kipling observes; “Man propounds negotiations. Man accepts compromise. Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact to its ultimate conclusion to unmitigated (absolute) act”. This is a fancy way of saying most of the time it doesn’t work.
Is it a case of “to thine own self be true” or is there a greater truth? There are over fifty references made in the Bible of promises made by God to us. What then are we to do with our own promises to God and to each other that must be reconciled with someone else’s view or position. I hold that with scripture that these are sacred if they are right-minded. Is what we want a true and honest benefit to the one promised or has it been thoroughly modified. Would it pass God’s test of public good?
With all the efforts being made (and lip service given) to mutual benefits being enjoyed, is the test really not: Can we not agree that this proposal is mutually beneficial to God and man’s purposes alike? Not some-I owe you or you owe me trade off, as is often the case.
Can we not just stick to the pont and decide one issue at a time without building a mountain of exchanges within the same document where we must accept or reject all or none? I must say as a one time Political Science major; there is nothing, absolutely nothing, scientific about it, absolutely no “gravity” in positions….. “We will know what is in the bill once we pass it”. This speaks to almost every bill that is hotly contested, and due to the cluelessness of Congress of their role as our representatives.
Any fool can point out the problem. A wise man will turn to God for the solution. His will and direction cannot be compromised. In many cases prayer would be enough….. but we must combine this with pressure. Not for compromise, but the keeping of a mature, right minded ( and I don’t mean politically right or left) commitment to common good. This is not a party problem, but a will of the people problem, and paramount- that of God’s will in every matter.
If the will of the people has now spoken. May He then lead, counsel and reconcile in His own wisdom, to a greater body of listeners than ever before: More than He has at this moment.
Speak if you are listening.