Compromise

<<concession, giving in>>

It is the outcome when one or both parties give up all or part of their demands or opinions, negotiating a solution somewhere between the two starting points. Compromise is a necessary ingredient in getting along with others, and we are free to have different opinions and viewpoints when no clear directives are given in the Bible or moral issues are not involved, but Christians and churches are not to tolerate sin or trade-off God’s non-negotiable laws or principles for the sake of peace.  King Saul’s compromise on clear, God-given orders was blatant disobedience (1 Sam 15:3,9-15). A commitment to remain faithful to God and a genuine love for the other party are keys to keep from sinning morally.

Commitment and obedience to God cannot be negotiated. After several requests by Moses to let the Israelites go and worship God in the wilderness, Pharaoh presented a compromise, “Worship God here” but Moses was not hook winked (Ex 5:1, 8:25).  Later the Israelites were told not to entertain any thought of compromise with the heathen nations by adopting their practices – yet to their peril, they did not listen (Ex 34:12-17; Deut 7:1-4; Josh 23:12,13).

The pressure from what others think, of not wanting to be different, persecution, and opting for a less disciplined life are reasons for avoiding conflict and giving in to the requests of others. However, compromising will weaken and destroy our convictions, making our witness ineffective, so

   Do not compromise on non-negotiable                                             aspects of the faith

don’t try to accommodate the world’s thinking or your standards and beliefs will slowly and subtly erode, starting in one area, then spreading to other key areas, as sensitivity to sin and obedience to the Holy Spirit is dulled. 

We naturally identify with those we love and have close dealings with. This is why Christians are not to form binding relationships, including marriage, with, non-Christians because there will be divided loyalties and conflict between light and darkness, inevitably leading to compromise (2 Cor 6:14-17).

We need to discern the reason for compromise – will it have a positive or negative influence?

See also: choice, conform, integrity, non-negotiable, peer pressure, standards, tolerate, viewpoint.

 


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