The Temptation to Compromise
“It’s as if a boxer has trained for the big fight and his opponent invites him out for dinner and slips poison into his coffee.”-Steven J. Cole
That quote says it all; we spend most of our lives as believers training to “fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 6:12 NIV), and if we are not careful we can be taken out very quickly.
It can be a very slippery slope when it comes to making compromises in our lives- especially as believers. As believers, we are called to a higher level, but that does not make it any easier when we are surrounded by a world that will so easily give up diamonds for pebbles.
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? (Matthew 8:36 NLV)
To compromise is to accept standards that are lower than they are desirable. The enemy will make the compromise look good. The enemy will send counterfeits to throw you off and get you to compromise before God sends you the real thing. You may meet an incredible man who has everything you may have desired, except usually for one important thing; he does not follow and/or is not committed to God.
Often times, compromise happens subtly and little by little, which often leads to our biggest downfalls and disasters This is how many of us become ensnared in compromise. Compromising even in the slightest and smallest of things will lead to compromising with the bigger things.
Compromise and integrity go hand in hand. Integrity is the state of being whole and undivided. If you are truly whole and undivided, then you are not willing to compromise. God is not a God of compromise.
Making compromises to get a man will mean you will have to compromise to keep that man. Making compromises to get the job will mean you have to continue to compromise to keep the job.
Compromise leads to lack, not gain, and is just another version of settling.
What leads us to compromise?
- To fit in
- Nothing better has come along, yet, so you take what you can get now.
- We do not want to be rejected.
- We do not trust God.
- We are trying to be more loyal to people than to God.
- We feel we are lacking something and are not whole.
- It is easier to compromise than it is to defend and stay true to your values. Compromise is more comfortable.
- If you do not compromise, you may be labeled as too picky, intolerant, or self-righteous.
Why is compromise bad?
- Compromise can be a form of conforming. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
- Compromise often leads to sin. It makes us miss out on what is best for us and our lives. We do not want to miss what amazing things God has for us. Compromise will always set you back. A true test of your trust in God is the inability to compromise.
- By compromising, we open ourselves up to disappointments and heartbreak.
Is there good compromise?
I believe that there are times where compromise is not a bad thing. A good compromise does not jeopardize your values, morals and/or relationship with God. A good compromise is changing old unproductive habits that are in the way of being the best version of yourself; the one God created you to be. A good compromise can be useful to becoming a better you.
How do we protect ourselves from toxic compromise?
- The most efficient and best way to protect yourself from compromise is to steer away and resist the temptations thrown at you that would inevitably lead you to compromise. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1 Timothy 6:11 NIV). A great example of this was written by Doug Batchelor:
When a jet aircraft starts its engines at the gate, the ground crew knows to stay far away from the intake of that powerful turbine. A few curious but careless workers lingering near the maw of one of these large engines have been literally vacuumed off the asphalt and vaporized. It is also true that if you compromise near forbidden boundaries, the deadly vortex of sin will suck you in like a category five tornado.
- Bring all things before God in prayer and supplication. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
- Be discerning or be perceptive to what I like to call the Holy Spirit check. You will get checked in the spirit if something is not right and as soon as you feel that you need to back away and do not even question it.
- Last but not least, be cautious about who you are around. The Bible says it clearly: "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character." (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV)