We often hear, “I’m not going to compromise my faith.”
This declaration usually comes when someone is asked to do something that is contrary to tradition as far as their faith is concerned.
The highlight here is “to do differently as opposed to traditional beliefs.”
Christians cannot deny the truth. They cannot deny Christ. The Holy Spirit dwelling in them will not allow them to sink to fear and deny Christ. Peter denied Christ three times, but that was before he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Unlike common beliefs, Jesus, Lord of all, has commanded his followers to compromise on a very large scale. His coming to die on a cross as a mean to redeem us from our sins is in itself a compromise by God.
As I am writing this encouraging note, the Lord reminds me of the following:
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” (Psalm 103:8-10)
This was put together as a song. A joyful song. A song that cheerfully reminds the singer of God’s love.
If you do not repay evil for evil, you’re compromising. As far as our behavior is concerned, Christ has called us to compromise.
“But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” (Matthew 5:39-42)
Some of us would say, “I have values and I will not compromise.”
As far as this statement is concerned, the Lord again brought my attention far back to something Naaman had once said after receiving his healing through Elisha,
“But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.” “Go in peace,” Elisha said. (2 Kings 5:18-19)
Whether you’re bound, arms and legs, to be brought to the city of Babylon, or confirming your identity to the guards as the one to be crucified, it is a compromise for a greater purpose called the will of God.
Faith is not something we do but receive and rejoice by.
So when we’re asked to do something out of our comfort zone, think the many times Christ prayed to God His Father asking for any possibility for Him to reconcile the world to God and return to the throne without going through crucifixion.
If there’s one thing that many believers learn to do quick, it is to compromise their traditional behaviors. Paul say it as such,
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
“Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
The only reason that a Christian baker should best choose not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple is simply due to his own conviction. It’s for his own health. If he believes that he’s doing something wrong, no one should force him to do it. It’s a conscience thing.
As a Christian, if gay couple knocks on your door and you invite them in, would you not offer them to eat and drink? If you were do it for free, would you not accept payment from them as a form of gratitude from their part so that you have enough revenue as the business mandates?
I was raised with many false beliefs. And maybe there’s a good reason for that. But as I grew up, I come to stretch those beliefs against all possibilities and they do not measure up. We live in a world where we need services from every walk of life and also have to serve every walk of life regardless of what the person may think or believe or lack in conscience.
I love when Paul said, “Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” (1 Corinthians 6:7)
The reason that many Christians worry so much about what they do, or their behaviors, is simply that we have forgotten the core of the gospel. Many times we struggle to do or not to do because we have forgotten that our salvation is by grace through faith, and not by anything we could ever do or abstain ourselves of.
Christians of all should be the only walks of life that can and should live in whatever the situation because the Spirit of God is our enabler, our very life. For we do not live by our sight or our might, but by the strong hope that God maintains alive in our heart with the presence of His Spirit dwelling in us.
For the sake of Christ and by the freedom of Christ, we’re called to compromise.
Christ compromised for our sake.
Christ, above all, compromised. He left His glory and bore an image detested by mankind for our sake. I love the revelation brought forth through the book of Isaiah, chapter 53. You really should read it to understand the very intent of such revelation. This is prophet Isaiah, speaking by the Holy Spirit, about Jesus Christ’s biography before God the Father:
“He [Jesus] grew up before him [God the Father] like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord [God the Father] has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.b
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s [God the Father’s] will to crush him [Jesus] and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied ;
[change of narrator, God speaking in the first person] by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I [God His Father] will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:2-12)
It is always satisfying to me to read Isaiah 53. It’s like watching a classic play that illustrates social beliefs of its time. It’s very revealing of the event and the intent and the subject of the gospel. In that chapter, the gospel was foretold and described in clear details.
God doesn’t hold his anger forever. That’s a compromise. Jesus sets his will aside to do God’s will on our behalf. That’s a compromise. Jesus commands us to suffer for him, not for our traditional values, but for his sake.
Jesus who is the Son of God, and thus God in nature became enclothed in a human body to teach us how God compromises because He loves us.
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Love compromises. Love doesn’t condemn, but compromises. Love doesn’t promote evil. But Love does what love does best. Love loves.
Should you share your bread only with those who agree with you? Should you? Is that what your faith says? Is that what Christ said?
Here’s another passage that’s like water onto my thirsty pallates:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbori and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)