I once read a bite-worthy statement in a church bulletin.
“Jesus was one hundred percent compassion and zero percent compromise.”
Should we compromise?
I had to think about this for a while and re-read some of Jesus’s accounts in the New Testament to understand the concept of compromise. What exactly is compromise?
Mirriam-Webster’s Dictionary: “Compromise” means the following:
“a way of reaching agreement in which each person or group gives up something that was wanted in order to end an argument or dispute”
So, when we compromise we “give up something” in order to serve a greater purpose. Then this makes me think on a bigger question: Did Jesus sacrifice (i.e. “compromise”) anything in order to bring harmony? Then I go back to my original question of, should we compromise?
There are times in the New Testament where Jesus “compromises” his reverence for the Sabbath in order to heal a person who is in pain…Under the Jewish law one core value was to keep the Sabbath day holy. (It is one of the Ten Commandments.) But Mark, 3:1-6, Luke 13: 10-17 and John 5:1-18 gives the account of Jesus healing on the Sabbath…So Jesus compromised on the Sabbath in the name of compassion.
Jesus once again makes an adjustment for the benefit of another person when He compromises his own well-being and his own power in the name of compassion. He tells his friend to put his sword away when one of His companions tries to fight back.
If Jesus compromised out of service and love towards others, should we do the same?
At first when I thought about the word “compromise” I thought of it as self-serving. We might compromise our desires in order to make more money. We may compromise our integrity in order to justify an action or in order to win a battle. But honestly, these examples along with other self-serving compromises will do nothing but lead you down the wrong path.
We are instructed to be more like Jesus or more “Christ-like” (1John 2:6; Philippians 2:1-11), which means to compromise for the benefit of others. After all, aren’t we to submit to one another and help each other out in order to make them feel loved, safe and more importantly, to show them the undeniable love of Jesus?
Yes, Jesus did compromise; likewise, we too should compromise for the well-being of others, but only in the way that Jesus instructs us to do so.
Luke 6:31: Do to others as you would have them do to you.
What do you think; Should you compromise? Have you ever given thought to the difference between self-compromise vs compromise for others?