A compromise is the coming to agreed terms among two parties. It is a settled negotiation for the purpose of mutual benefit. The bible tells us that: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other (Matthew 6:24).
A compromise is a depiction of devotion. A compromise says: I am willing to let go of this thing, because I care more about that thing.
The most evident place that we recognize compromise in our lives is in our relationships. Whether it be a familial, romantic, or business relationship, there is always some degree of compromise.
This is because as people we each come with different values and motives that are important to us. And sometimes those agendas can clash resulting in potentially detrimental disputes.
A compromise resolves/prevents those disputes. We compromise on things all the time whether it be money, time, travel plans, or food. We can also compromise our spirits (James 4:17), as we are to live in the world but not of it (1 John 2:15-17).
One of the essential components of a compromise is capitulation. You must be willing to give up something. But what you give up is just as if not more important than what you take on.
We compromise our spirits by tolerating things that are not life giving. This is where our convictions come into question.
What are you committed to? What are you not willing to give any ground on?
Having unshakable core values is called having a standard. The level of your standards impacts your quality of life. If you do not stand for anything, you fall for everything.
God has a standard; it is called holiness, and He wants us to live up to it. He wants us to live up to it because that is who He is (Leviticus 11:44).
We live up to God’s standard by avoiding negative spiritual compromises. The simplest way to explain negative spiritual compromise, is idolatry. Where you put your treasure so shall your heart be. What you surrender to will influence you.
When we idolize something, we invite that thing to take up residence in our spirits. God wants us to compromise on what we allow to influence our lives. He wants to be the one to reside in us (Ephesians 2:22).
Why does God want you to Compromise for Him?
God cannot be seen. It would literally kill us if we were to see his face (Exodus 33:20). That being said, He still wants to have a relationship with us. He does that by living in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
It is the job the Holy Spirit to be the standard barer in our lives. Holiness is the standard and everything else falls short.
God holds us to the standard of Holiness because of the agreement He made with us. He agreed to dwell with us as long as we agreed to dwell with Him, this is called a covenant (Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 37:25).
A covenant is a contract, it outlines the parameters of a relationship, and the consequences if the agreement is broken. The perfect example of this is marriage.
Marriage is a covenant between two people. A marriage only works however, if the two individuals in union agree to the terms and conditions of that union. It is a compromise. So is the case with God, we go into relationship with Him when we compromise our values for His.
So, Does God Compromise?
The short answer is no, but the long answer is yes; let me give you both.
On one hand no, God does not compromise on His holiness standard. He cannot even be in the presence of unholiness (Psalm 5:4). And while he does want us to live up to that standard he also recognizes that it is not easy for us to do so.
On the other hand, He did already, in the form of Jesus. Jesus was God’s compromise with humanity. After realizing that not only was it impossible for humans to live up to the holiness standard by ourselves, but that it was also unfair because we did not know how; he sent Jesus.
Jesus is God’s son. 100% God in Spirit 100% Human in flesh. Instead of giving up on us, He showed us how committed to our covenant with Him He is.
Not only did Jesus keep the holiness standard, showing us that it is possible, but then he took it a step further and lowered the standard.
In the Torah there are over 600 rules and regulations associated with being holy. In Jesus’ lifetime he took all those rules and turned them into two:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.Mark 12:30-31
The cost of our holiness was so immense that God allowed His son to die for it. That is how valuable we are. That is how determined God was to keep his covenant with us.