|"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, |
leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps." 1 Peter 2:21
Cape Town, South Africa; Copyright: GreeneFamily
In The Danger of Compromise, Pastor Greg Laurie says, “Have you ever heard the story of the guy who could not decide what side he wanted to fight for during the Civil War? He put on the coat of the North and the trousers of the South, and guess what? He got shot from both sides. This is what happens to the compromiser, the person who tries to live in two worlds. It is one miserable life.”
Bernie Madoff, founder of the Wall Street firm Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was convicted of fraud and of operating a Ponzi scheme that is well-known as one of the largest investment scandals in the history of the United States. He defrauded many investors of billions of dollars. Madoff was convicted and sentenced to 150 years in prison. His small compromises, which eventually became huge compromises, led to investors losing their entire life-time savings. But on a personal level, the consequences were even higher. His wife left him. His son Andrew died of cancer while blaming his cancer relapse on the stress caused by his father’s fraud. His other son, Mark, committed suicide by hanging himself on the second anniversary of his father’s arrest. Madoff lives with the regret that both sons never forgave him for his corruption. We would be wise to recognize that our compromises/sin will always affect other people – even our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
It is imperative that we be attentive to the Lord in all areas of our lives and strive to be consistent and mature in our actions. We can see in the Bible how some believers led impeccable lives and were devoted to God until small compromises/sin affected the life that God intended for them to have.
Solomon was a righteous and Godly King until his later years when corruption overtook him. Solomon even asked God for wisdom above worldly possessions. He went from fully trusting God for his life and kingdom to worshipping idols in the form of wealth and power in his latter days. Notice that Solomon continued worshipping God while loving many foreign Gods and burning incense to paganism. This led to God’s anger against him. Solomon is known today as the godly king who compromised. He did not keep God’s commandments and the Bible states that Solomon did turn away from the Lord.
In 1 Kings 11:1-13, the Bible says:
“Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who made offerings and sacrificed to their gods. And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not keep what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your practice and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem that I have chosen. And the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad the Edomite.”
If compromising can affect Solomon, a king who was originally so devoted to God, it can happen to us also. Even good Christians can compromise. Usually it occurs very subtly. We get wrapped up and ensnared - unaware until our compromising goes from a little compromising to continual compromising. However, it can be avoided by being attentive to the Lord in all areas of life. By daily giving Him our lives, we can avoid compromising/sinning. This is where daily praying and daily Bible reading come into play. But, we aren’t perfect. Jesus knows that, so when we do find ourselves in little lies or little compromises, we need to ask for forgiveness and for help to change our ways immediately.
Our friendship with the world can take the form of materialism, popularity, sex, and more. Compromising can affect our marriage, our spiritual life, our relationships with our children, and our business relationships. Unfortunately, we are sometimes the recipient of someone else’s compromises. Even then, we need move forward structuring our life around God and His provisions for us. He will rescue us and sustain us during these times.
In the Old Testament, Daniel, and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are examples of those whose strong beliefs did not allow compromise in their lives. They refused to bow down to the gold statue set up by Nebuchadnezzar even with the threat of being thrown into a fiery furnace. [Daniel 3:1-15] They trusted in the God who was sufficient for all their needs and a God who rescued them.
Let’s ask for God’s help this week to be believers that walk in Biblical standards. Let’s not be believers who only want to get into Heaven and be thought of as good people. Let’s truly get our relationship with Christ on solid ground, so we can live daily in His presence trusting that God will help us when we are weak.
Bible Verses:Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals.
1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
Jeremiah 6:16 ESV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness.
2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
Prayer:Lord, give us power to praise and love you always – to the end of our days. When we compromise, show us immediately, so we can get back on track quickly. Prevent us from causing damage to others through our actions. Help us not to damage our Christian witness through our actions. Let us walk with you daily through our prayers and Bible study. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Have a wonderful weekend.
- Books by Patti Londa Greene: Awaken Me: a devotional prayer journal and God, and God, It’s Me: 181 Days for Young Adults to Become Passionate about Prayer and Bible Study
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