Drinking From the Cup of Compromise

“Be very careful then how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:15 NIV

photo credit: mcuff via photopin cc


Sometimes I wish I never heard the name Jesus.  I wish I had never opened the Bible, or went to church, or ever befriended someone who walked in His ways.  Then I would live in my own little world where I could speak, and do, and live however I pleased.  A place where the lines between right and wrong are blurred, crooked, and colored in shades of gray.  Yes, a place where words like honesty, obedience, and compromise wouldn’t sting my soul, or gnaw at my conscience.


But the truth is, I fell.  I fell for this King, this Redeemer, and Savior called Jesus.  I want what he offers.  He promises peace – good, I’ll take it.  He promises strength – a double portion, please. He promises salvation – send me to the front of the line.


I can take, and take, and take all day.


But when we say “yes” to him, and the Holy Spirit descends upon us, something happens.  An awakening that presses in, chips away, and reforms our actions, words, and thoughts.  As Paul wrote, “The old life is gone.  A new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)


We are no longer unwise, but wise and whatever is in our cup of compromise becomes a much harder drink to swallow.


As a child, I was a perpetual liar.  I’m not sure if it was stupidity, protection, or just a thrill, but lying was my answer for everything.  When my mother couldn’t take it anymore, she enlisted the help of my second grade teacher.  Every Friday afternoon, Mrs. Mayer would take me out into the hall and ask me if I lied during the week.  I replied “no” and for whatever reason, she believed me and handed me a cherry LifeSaver lollipop as a reward.


I lied to Mrs. Mayer every week, and I was willing to live with it.  My young mind thought nothing of it, and when the rest of the class watched me eat my lollipop, my popularity was close to celebrity status, so what was the big deal?


As I grew up, lying lost its glamour.  Life was more complicated, and the lies I had to concoct became too complex.  Lying no longer came with a sweet reward, but rather left a bitter taste in my mouth.


And that’s what the Holy Spirit works in us – a bitterness to our former ways.  The Lord declares in Jeremiah 2:19 that we, “Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me.”


Consider and realize.  Two actions most of us would rather not think about until our cup becomes too heavy to lift, and the drink too rancid to consume.  At that point we must ask ourselves a question:


Am I willing to live with, accept, and value the high cost of compromise?


We’re tired.  We look around and see so many people compromising their life away and think, “Why not me? If they can get away with it, surely I can!” but I want to encourage you not to give in.


Draw on the Lord for strength. Cast on him your conscience, and ask for eyes that aim only for Heaven, so we can mirror Luke who said, “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” (Acts 24:16)


So hang in there, and throw that cup of compromise away.


Have you conquered your cup of compromise?  Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you!

4 Replies

  1. Devery Wright

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, “Auntie Raye”. Good name for a new column, maybe. Anyway, the topic is phenomenal, and so needed….”for such a time as this”…..as compromise is running rampant, in the church, and the the call to holy living, deemed too extreme, and even pharisitical in nature. Correction and rebuke is discouraged, and the individuals “ways” to the Lord, ever increasing, with each compromise, and each new interpretation that caters to our wants, and not to the Living Word. Thank you for your transparency, as well, showing that there is hope for all who are bound up by sin and compromise. Love, love, love, your heart, and how you put it out there!

    1. Correction and instruction are two words we really shy away from. We forget the high cost of looking the other way by not turning them, or ourselves around. As always, thanks so much for your great comments!

  2. Stephanie Wortel

    The phrase that really struck me:

    “We’re tired. We look around and see so many people compromising their life away and think, “Why not me? If they can get away with it, surely I can!” but I want to encourage you not to give in.”

    Lately, I think the thing I realized (or more accurately was guided to) is that it’s the compromising that was making me tired. We’re not supposed to find the middle way, and that’s why it’s exhausting.

    (Your reflections are a treasure, Aunt Raye.)

    1. You are so right Steph. The giving away of ourselves strips us of life and energy. So good to hear from you, you’ve been on my mind lately.

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