Are You a Compromising Christian?

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
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What do you think of when you hear the word compromise? Some people think of “settling a dispute by mutual concession,” as Dictionary.com defines the term. While this is certainly a good definition when trying to settle a conflict, the word compromise has another meaning as well: “accepting standards lower than desired.” I would add “lower than commanded by God.”

In this blog post, I will use this alternate definition of the word compromise to share my thoughts on how the Body of Christ, as a whole, is today living in compromise and what we can do about it.

In His Holy Word, God has set forth standards of behavior for those of us who follow Jesus. Many in the Church today, however, are living below those standards, not only to their own detriment but to the detriment of the Church’s witness for Christ. In other words, many Christians are living a life of compromise.

What are some of the ways we in the Church are compromising the cause of Christ? Let’s ask ourselves some pointed questions to find out:

1–Am I living in sexual sin? For example, do I call myself a Christian yet I am living with my boyfriend or girlfriend? Am I having sex with someone else’s spouse? Do I look at pornography on the Internet? Do I watch movies that dishonor God by drawing me away from Him? Do I read books that do the same? Do I watch TV programs that ridicule righteousness? Do I listen to music whose lyrics are suggestive?

2–Do I espouse beliefs explicitly contrary to God’s Word? For example, do I support abortion, gay rights, same-sex marriage, and transgenderism? 

3–Do I engage in practices that God clearly forbids? For example, do I read the daily horoscope, play the Ouija board, or dabble in other forms of the occult? Do I get high on drugs or alcohol? 

4–Do I misuse the Bible to make it fit my own agenda? For example, do I emphasize the love of Christ in order to promote the view that God would not send anyone to Hell? Or do I twist the Word to mean that grace is a license to keep on sinning?

5–Do I question the absolute authority of Scripture, choosing to believe only those parts I agree with? For example, do I believe that there are many ways to Heaven? Do I believe there is no Hell? Do I believe that everyone will go to Heaven?

Either the Bible is all true or it’s not true at all. We have no right to pick and choose what we want to believe from the Word of God. When we do, we are compromising the Word and putting ourselves in extreme danger. We are saying, in effect, that we know better than God. This is nothing short of idolatry!

6–Do I keep silent about horrible practices like human trafficking, poverty, violence, greed, and terrorism because I fear man more than God? Scripture tells us that the “fear of man brings a snare” (Proverbs 29: 25). In other words, fear of what others may think or say if and when we stand up for Jesus is the equivalent of making man our god. The fear of man is a deceptive trap that will cause us to fall into the hands of Satan. The fear of man is what is causing most nations in the world to buckle in the face of radical Islamic terrorism. 

7–Do I commit “little sins,” like telling white lies, stealing paper clips from my job, or taking money under the table in order to avoid paying taxes?  What seems like a little sin is really a big sin because it stems from compromise. And compromise leads to spiritual death. 

The Bible teaches that it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2: 15). What we think are little things are really big things. It’s the little sins that lead to the big sins–if sin can even be categorized as little and big.  In God’s eyes, sin is sin and abhorrent to Him.

So, what causes a Christian to compromise? Greg Laurie has said that “Compromise begins with leaving your first love for Jesus Christ….” This, in a nutshell, is the source of all compromise. When we leave our first love–Jesus Christ–we turn to other loves by default. First among these is the love of self. The love of self then leads to the love of sins that exalt the self and diminish the Lord in our lives.

In closing, I’d like to share a practical example of the harm compromise can wield. Recently, the Lord gave me the wonderful opportunity to tell a very kind Buddhist woman about Him. As I spoke to her about the love of Jesus, she interrupted me to share a very sad experience she had had at her job.

“The little things in life are the big things.” ~ Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

She said that there are two Christians who work with her in her office. The Buddhist woman made it a point to tell me that these two Christians attend church services twice a week. “But,” she said, “these two Christians are harsh and mean in their treatment of others at the office.” From that, the Buddhist woman–who greatly values kindness–concluded that she had no reason to become a Christian. She was already kind in her treatment of others, so Christianity offered her nothing more. In fact, she did not at all want to become harsh and mean like the Christians in her office. So she did not want to hear anything more about Jesus.

The two compromising Christians in the Buddhist woman’s office had not only defamed the cause of Christ by destroying their own witness for Him through their failure to walk in love, but they had also destroyed my witness for Christ toward this precious Buddhist woman.  

Remember this, dear brother and sister in Christ: The world is watching us!  How are you living your life? Are you living it in such a way that people will be drawn to Christ or away from Him? Are you lowering God’s standards out of a desire to fit in with the crowd or out of fear of being ridiculed or persecuted? If so, I urge you to repent.

Compromise has no place in our lives nor in the Body of Christ. Let’s get rid of it once and for all! 

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you been guilty of compromise? What did you do to change?  Please leave your valuable comments in the fields below. Thanks! 

TWEETABLE: “Are You a Compromising Christian?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

TWEETABLE: “The little things in life are the big things.” ~ Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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Copyright 2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

Sources cited:

“The Danger of Compromise” by Greg Laurie

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The Compromising Heart

Why Compromise Will Hurt Your Heart

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Compromise. We normally think of it as a good thing. For example, when facing a decision that involves both spouses in a marriage, we consider how that decision will affect each person in the relationship. We work toward a “win-win” situation. We compromise.

 Casual man looking at doodle drawing of angel and devil fighting. Concept of conscience; decisions, uncertainty, moral dilemma; fight of good and evil.

When struggling to find a solution for a workplace conflict, we strive to find one that benefits all parties involved. We discuss, weigh the pros and cons, and determine what is best for the group as a whole. We compromise.

When our child’s bedtime is 8:00 but he wants to stay up until 9:00, we allow him to stay up until 8:30pm. To show our goodwill as a parent, we compromise.

But compromise can be a liability when it comes to deciding between right and wrong. For instance, you may be tempted to “borrow” a few paper clips from work for your personal use at home.  You do so, compromising your moral integrity while rationalizing that it’s only a few paperclips. Your company won’t cave financially if you take them.

But you will cave spiritually.

Why? Because you compromised. And your heart knows it!

You see, God made us with an inner knowing regarding what is right and what is wrong.  This knowing is sometimes called natural law.

Several years ago, I heard a missionary give a talk about the remote tribe to which God sent her to preach the Gospel. The tribe had never heard of Jesus Christ. They had never heard of the Bible. They had never heard of the Ten Commandments. Yet, when the missionary asked them to tell her about their culture, they said things like the following:  We do not steal from one another. We do not lie to one another. We do not kill one another.

How did this remote tribe of people know that such actions were wrong? Simple. The law of God was written on their hearts.

As much as we may try to deny it, in the depths of our hearts we know what is right and what is wrong. We know it is wrong to steal. We know it is wrong to lie. We know it is wrong to murder.

You may say, “I don’t steal; I don’t lie; I don’t murder.”  But do you tell “a little white lie”?  Do you take a few paper clips from work because, after all, it won’t make a difference?  Do you gossip about your neighbor? Gossip is a form of murder, you know.

So, why do we compromise? I think there is one main reason: the fear of man. We are afraid to stand up for what is right because we are afraid of what others may think.  We are more afraid of what man thinks than of what God thinks.

Brothers and sisters, this should not be!

I issue you a loving challenge today:  Be courageous in the face of evil.  Do not give in to the temptation to save your own skin.  Remember that you are a follower of Christ.  And a follower of Christ, if need be, will follow Him into suffering and persecution in order to remain faithful to Him.

If you have been compromising, repent.  Then determine in your heart that you will never compromise again. 

Making this decision will be very good for your heart!

 

In my newest work of fiction, SURRENDER TO LOVE, young widow and life coach, Dr. Teresa LopezPicMonkeyFINAL061815416pmGonzalez, learns that only a heart submitted totally to God will lead her to life.

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Dr. Diorio is a Certified Life Coach, a Certified Biblical Counselor, and a Certified Behavioral Consultant. She is also an award-winning, widely published author of fiction for children and adults. You may reach her at maryann@maryanndiorio.com  or via one of her social media venues below: