Most things in life require us to make compromises. As we mature, we realize that we must make compromises in our relationships, business negotiations, and even election results. However, have you ever stopped to consider how dangerous it is to be so conditioned to make compromises in our lives? If compromising is so common, what prevents us from compromising our integrity? How can we guard against compromising the unchanging truth of God’s Word? Through God’s Holy Spirit, we learn to discern the things that require us to compromise and when we must follow God’s truth and stand fast. God’s Word tells us not to be swayed by others. In Deuteronomy 5:32 NIV, God shows us our path, saying, So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.
God makes it very clear that there is no compromise when it comes to His Word. In doing so, He teaches us to be discerning. That means searching out God’s truth to examine and decide what is a good compromise from those things that might harm us if we turn to the left or right. God’s wisdom is wonderful, and we can depend on it to lead us away from compromises that separate us from God’s purpose. That is a good way to determine whether the compromise required is one we should make. Ask yourself, “Is this something that separates me from God’s truth?” If you think a compromise is necessary, pray that God gives you the wisdom to know what to do and the strength to follow His lead.
It is our job to test the spirit. 1 John 4:1 NIV tells us, Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. God gave us the gift of discernment, wisdom, and free will so that we could learn to make good choices. The problem occurs when we compromise God’s Word to do what others feel is best for us. Why are we so tempted to veer to the right or left? It’s no secret that the enemy makes some compromises seem so logical and acceptable, so tempting and alluring, that we are blinded to the dangers of our decisions.
For example, we are offered a much-deserved promotion at work. Our first thought is probably, “Wow! This means more money for our family or more satisfaction in this new position.” Consequently, we accept the new position without first praying about it. We fail to search God’s wisdom. Unfortunately, by accepting without consideration of God’s will, we might be stepping out from under His protective covering. As a result, this new position brings a new set of problems. Our boss is controlling, we are required to work long hours that take us from our loved ones, and the increase in salary places us in a higher tax bracket. We discover that our lives have become a series of unhealthy compromises, all because we failed to put God first and be obedient to His Word. We acted out of the natural, the flesh, instead of walking in the Spirit.
Next time you consider a compromise, ask yourself: “Will this compromise hurt my relationship with God?” The answer to that question might not necessarily be so obvious. You might have to wrestle with it for a while, and that’s okay as long as you’ve given it to God in prayer. God knows your heart. He knows when you’re trying to justify a decision and when you are genuinely seeking His wisdom. He knows when you put your trust in Him and are obedient. When you are, God will pour forth His blessings. Prayer is the key to compromise.