My basic understanding of the word “compromise” is when two people in disagreement each make concessions (altering their position) and a settlement/agreement resolves the dispute. Here are some of the greatest compromises in human history…
- The Christmas truce of 1914, when the troops on opposing sides of World War I had an unofficial ceasefire, each crossing into no-man’s land, and exchanging holiday greetings. A showing of human decency in the midst of the most brutal conflict the world had seen up until that point.
- When a populace in search of security, in compromise yields more of its liberty than is required. Benjamin Franklin said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty, nor Safety.”
- And perhaps the most famous of all, the compromise made by Pontius Pilate, giving the choice over to the crowds of people over whom to condemn to death, Barabbas or Jesus.
While each of these examples have specific outcomes, and each event has been written about, dissected, and discussed ad nauseam, all three are good examples of compromise, where concessions must be made to achieve resolution of a conflict.
Compromise, as far as I’m concerned has a negative impact in the life of a true Christ-follower today. That’s because we are constantly being harangued to modify our beliefs to appease those who un-appeasable. Trust me when I say that nothing short of abandonment of your beliefs will be good enough for many in our pagan unbelieving culture today. However, if you want to be a true Christ-follower, it is time to take an uncompromising stand about your faith.
Uncompromising faith is not an easy stance, and you should not take me to mean that God will automatically bless you, or make you successful, or even protect you from those who would destroy you for taking this uncompromising stand. Yes, there is a whole host of characters written about in Hebrews 11, great Bible characters who remained faithful and uncompromising in their service to God. And down toward then end of the list, the writer suggests he just doesn’t have time to list them all, but lumps the faithful all together saying…
[11:33-35] …who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection;
It’s easy to want to be like these and know that our uncompromising faith might have these same kinds of effects. But here’s the thing. It’s a semi-colon, not a period at the end of this thought. And then the writer goes on to say…
[11:36-38] …and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.
And the bottom line for the author, regarding those who live faithful uncompromising lives is… all gained God’s approval through their faith.
It’s easy, and yes perhaps too easy when times are good, successful, and happy to sometimes be lulled into thinking I don’t have to try so hard to speak the truth, in a loving, but uncompromising way. After all, why stir the pot, right? Anyone who thinks this way is thinking contrary to Scripture. Just two more passage of Scripture for your consideration, before you decide if I’m right or not.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
Neither of these passages are written as a recommendation, or as a debatable thought. Each is written as an absolute truth. Each is a fact that cannot be compromised. Paul urges every true Christ-follower not to be conformed but to be uncompromising in their stand against the ideologies of this world. And Jesus Christ says the only way to accomplish this is to place uncompromising faith in the fact of His claim to be the true Messiah.
Today I challenge you to live an uncompromising faith before your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers… and rely on God to glorify Himself through your life.