One of the challenges many of us will face today is the challenge of compromise. Satan is very subtle in his ability to have one captured by compromise. He did it to Adam and Eve in the garden and is an expert at it today. As a matter of fact, his efforts have intensified even more with the second coming of Christ.
To compromise is to “accept something” or “agree to” usually grudgingly in order to reach an agreement or improve a situation. Many times, the pressure to compromise is prompted by anxiety or some fear of rejection, being criticized, or ostracized by others.
There are times when compromise is good and right, for it is a basic skill needed in some relational circumstances. Such as needed in marriage, when keeping the peace is more desirable than getting one’s own way in minor decisions. Additionally, in organizations where a decision must be made in the midst of numerous opinions. In Daniel 1:8-14, Daniel and his three friends worked out a compromise with the chief of the eunuchs concerning their diets so they would not defile themselves before God. The flesh can cause a person to decide that their opinion is the only correct one. So, yielding to the Spirit’s leading in a compromise regarding relational circumstances can be beneficial.
Then there are times when compromise is not good at all but evil.
Psalm 119:3 NLT states,
“Joyful are those who obey his laws
and search for him with all their hearts.
They do not compromise with evil,
and they walk only in his paths.”
Here are individuals whose compromise was not good:
Samson (Judges 16:1-21); Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-14); Asa (2 Chronicles 16:1-9); Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:35-37); and the Church of Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29).
Compromise can be so subtle. As believers we would not knowingly set Jesus aside for an idol, and compromise does not require us to do so. Compromise will subtly encourage you to have the idol and keep Jesus too! It will convince you of no wrongdoing by holding onto Jesus the same time you are holding on to something that is contradictory to Him and His teachings. As a teacher of His Word, I see this in the body of Christ, and it grieves me.
So how can you tell if you are subtly compromising wrongfully? Generally speaking, you can compromise regarding preferences, but not regarding principles. For example:
May we as joint heirs with Christ, never compromise the truth/principles taught in His Word. May we ask for His wisdom (James 1:5-7), heed His voice (John 10:4), and submit to His will alone (Heb. 13:21). There is no need to have anger towards or to criticize others, although you may be the recipient of the same. Do not be pressured to follow the crowds, no matter whether they are in or outside of the local church. Do not subtly be lead away from the principles taught in God’s Word because it’s not popular currently.
Instead of being captured by compromise, trust and keep your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith. You may have to stand alone in some circumstances, but you never have to rely on your own strength. Jesus will provide all that you need in every circumstance (Philippians 2:12–13 and 2 Corinthians 9:8). Make the choice today to not be captured by compromise.