Compromise

Compromise is often a good thing.  You and I have to be good at compromising in our relationships so that we don’t always need to have things go our way.  A big skill in having a good marriage is knowing when to compromise and when to stand your ground.

I don’t have to read much of the Old Testament to know that the Israelites were not wise about when to compromise.  As they intermingled with the pagan people living around them, we regularly see them compromise on things like their values and their commitment to God.  Those are exactly the areas that should have no compromise.

God told them repeatedly to totally demolish the people who were living  in the Promised Land as they took over their inheritance …..but they didn’t.  God knew the Israelites would be attracted to the pagan gods and the pagan way of life which would lead them away from him – the One True God.

The Israelites compromised and, of course, it happened.  They intermarried with the pagans and started worshipping worthless idols.  Their values got lost in the evil and empty pagan culture they lived in.  They foolishly forfeited the faithful heritage handed down to them from Abraham and Moses.  They traded all that in for man-made wooden idols.

They compromised.

And they lost.

As I read this, God is reminding me not to compromise when it comes to my faith and what I believe.  God’s Word is my compass.  The values and idols of our current culture should have no influence on my commitment to my relationship with God.

Everything can and will change around me, but God stays constant, true and faithful.

No compromise.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Lost in the Weeds

Going in the same direction.

Moving forward together.

Shared goals.

Unity.

And it feels good when I’ve got it, doesn’t it?

But unity isn’t an easy thing to achieve.

There is compromise – it doesn’t have to be all my way.  I need to take a look from other people’s perspective – there are other valid opinions.

Prioritizing – is it worth creating an issue?  Wisdom = losing a lot of battles in order to win the war.

And – if this is a battle that needs to happen – much planning and selflessness needs to be included in figuring out how to bring up the issue.  Emotions stay out of it because they cause me to over-react and say things that aren’t helpful.  Just because something is true doesn’t mean that I can say it anytime I want to.  The timing of discussions on difficult issues can determine success or failure.

I can get lost in the weeds.  Details that don’t really matter can derail me when I’m trying to discuss difficult issues, causing any forward movement to stop.  Sometimes I get so lost that I actually move backwards.  Very disappointing!  I know you’ve been there, too.

So unity is not easy to achieve but it’s very much worth the effort.  We read about the joy the Israelites experienced in Joshua 22 when they avoided some serious conflict between groups merely by talking with each other.  One group thought the other group was rebelling while the 2nd group thought the first group was going to try to make an issue of where they were living in the future.  During their discussion, they realized that they worshipped the same God and they were on the same page.

Unity.

We could use more of it, right?  Where do we get more unity?

God.

As my relationship with God grows, he is able to give me the wisdom and perspective I need to bring more unity into my life – more unity with my husband and family and more unity with my church family.

When we are all looking to God for direction and insight, God provides unity.  It’s his desire for us to live peacefully together and live a life full of joy.

In him, we are unified.

And we find joy.

Thank you, Abba Father.