Compromise can be a huge problem for anyone wanting to live with integrity and success. Of course, there is a time to compromise in a positive way, such as when we meet another person half way in finding a solution to a problem. But compromising our standards, values, or convictions is negative compromise and is undesirable.
Look at Adam and Eve of the Old Testament. They compromised to what they knew was wrong for the sake of physical gratification. “If you’ll do this, you can be like God.” Who wouldn’t want to be like God? Trouble was, that was the one thing God told Adam and Eve not to do, and God was The Authority. So they compromised, and the consequences of their actions gave us thorn bushes, weeds in our gardens, gave women painful childbirth and an unending need to please men, and I’m convinced mosquitoes in the Garden of Eden did not bite humans until after the fall of Adam.
Many times we settle for less than what is right. We know what we should do, but what will it hurt if I fudge a little on my tax returns? Or glance at my neighbor’s paper when I can’t remember the right answer? What if I don’t tell the whole truth to save myself or someone else some trouble?
Sometimes we compromise to avoid confrontation. Personally, I hate confrontation. As a parent and as a teacher I found that confrontation was necessary at times for the good of the children (and for my sanity). If I avoid confronting the issue and disciplinary actions, that compromise will come back to bite me in the butt, and children fail to learn when they won’t listen or do their homework.
Many compromise for material gain. Again, lying on a tax return or a legal document may get you more money, but it is compromise, and this type of compromise is wrong. We live in a society where many claim dependents they don’t have to get more welfare money or tax returns. Those who love physical things will compromise what they know is the truth for temporary satisfaction.
Some compromise with the intent to change their convictions when their circumstances have changed. “Once my situation is improved, I will tell the truth.” Trouble is, the situation seldom changes or they forget their promise to do better when it does change.
Some only partially follow the Lord—this is compromise. He doesn’t want us just when it’s convenient, or when we feel in the mood. Our relationship with God isn’t a religion of convenience. We can’t compromise the truth because we don’t want to disappoint our loved ones or be rejected because we see things differently than they do.
Compromise will make us weak, and others will see us as weak. Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24
We have to rise above compromise.