Costly Compromises

imageIs compromising a destructive, or constructive activity? Churchill once stated, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile–hoping it will eat him last.” Clearly, the dangers of compromise arise when we allow it to infringe upon our values and God’s Word. Yet, greater motivation to concede arises when we risk peer approval and/or fear losing something we deeply desire. Considering the costs of our actions can help us during these times:

Strength Dwindles: The potency of our testimony as a witness for Christ is diluted when our actions don’t match our words. Are we more inclined to compromise our convictions when among friends, socializing with coworkers, or facing loneliness? We will always stand strongest when our desires for acceptance & gratification are established in Christ over man (Proverbs 29:25).

Stability Diminishes: Our certainty in Jesus & His inerrant Word is our only firm foundation. Anything else eventually breaks, rots, or ends (Psalm 127:1). Are we compromising any of the time, talents & treasures entrusted to us in an attempt to secure & solidify our kingdom over His? Infractions to our time with God, health, family relations & financial stewardship serve as good clues for us to examine.

Safety Decreases: God’s commandments don’t restrict, but protect. Like guardrails along a winding road, they help keep us safe & from swerving off course (Proverbs 2:8). When we ignore, or compromise them we invite the very consequences God desires to guard us from.

Application: “Monitoring Motivations“- Galatians 1:10
Compromise should never require us to surrender our biblical principals. If so, whatever being sought is not worth what it promises. Are we struggling with any compromising situations? If so, considering our motivations can help. Will our actions serve as a bridge to bring others closer to Christ, or as a blockade built by temporal satisfactions?

Divine Diversity

image “What unites us is far greater than what divides us,” was first stated by President Kennedy to the Canadian Parliament, but may it also stand as the unwavering pursuit for all Christians belonging to The Lord Jesus Christ. For there will always be differences & diverse tastes among us, but personal preferences can never be allowed to divide & distract us from the unified devotion & direction we have in Christ (Philippians 2:2). Three truths aid in this priority:

Common Purpose: When we’re busy loving God with all our heart, soul, strength & mind, His desires begin to override our own. Worship becomes a daily ambition, not limited to Sundays, and we grow more inclined to set aside our own interests for the interests of others. Have we allowed the “have it my way” mentality to deter us from our primary purpose of drawing near to Christ & sharing His Gospel (Mark 16:15)?

Contrasting Programs: Although every snowflake’s design & flight pattern is unique, their destination’s the same. Likewise, God can use our diversity as a blanket of transformation for wherever He sends us (1Corinthians 12:25). What biases are we clinging to resulting in unnecessary conflict with others? Having preferences is natural, but they need not divide us. For as long as Jesus & the inerrant Word of God is at the heart of all we do, we can trust Him with the consequences of any particular style, or servant He may deploy to help build His church.

Collective Prize: Thankfully God’s plans are never thwarted by our disagreements & differences. Many times He even uses them to further His cause (1Corinthians 11:19). As worship becomes more about God & less about our self, distractions fade & diversity becomes a strategic asset in fulfilling His call to share the Gospel with all people.

Application: “Establish The Work of Our Hands” – Psalm 90:17
Accomplishing the work we’ve been given is greatly aided when we know our purpose. God’s Word discloses this purpose & directs us with plans of action, but we must choose to be His faithful stewards.  Have any conflicts & circumstances been allowed to distract us from these divine duties? Let us fix our eyes on Jesus so we might rid ourselves of such entanglements (Hebrews 12:1).

Equipping Elevation

imageIf you ever received a willing and helping hand from someone, you know the power one person can have on another. Thomas Edison once said, “I never pick up an item without thinking of how I might improve it.” Now consider – what if we approached other people’s lives with this same mindset and goal? Three behaviors can aid us in this cause:

Reaching: We all have divinely customized areas of influence, such as our family, friends, coworkers and community. Yet many times, we allow the distractions of life to disrupt our desire to share the gospel, our testimony and provide the encouragement so many desperately need. Is there anyone we might invest our time with today and trust God with the consequences (Luke 10:2)?

Teaching: We know role modeling to be one of the most effective ways to pass along knowledge and behaviors. Therefore, we have a powerful opportunity for our actions to serve as stepping stones as opposed to stumbling blocks (1 Peter 2:12). Is our growth in and obedience to God’s Word serving as stones for others to step higher, or stumble over?

Seeing: Just as our viewpoint can greatly influence our experience with a mountain sunrise, our life perspective greatly impacts our experiences with people. It takes intentional effort to climb a mountain, and to invest in others. Yet, when we are obedient to God and seek the potential we all have in Christ, lives get saved, strongholds get broken and hope is restored (Proverbs 24:11).

Application: Elevation For The Next Generation – Proverbs 13:22
We will all leave an inheritance with those our life was allowed to impact. The question is will it be material, eternal, or both? As we nurture our own walk with Christ, our faithfulness in sharing the gospel with others and helping them elevate their walk increases. As a result, a legacy of equipped stewards seek to maximize the time, talents and treasures entrusted to them to glorify God and expand His Kingdom.