Compromise

My bible study has taken me to Genesis 19 … Scripture turns from Abraham toward his brother, Lot, who has chosen to reside in Sodom.  A study on Lot’s life weaved me to realize the “steady progression of compromise” in his life.

Lot went from looking toward Sodom (in Genesis 13), to pitching his tent toward Sodom (Genesis 13:12), to living in Sodom (Genesis 14), to losing everything when Sodom was attacked (Genesis 14), to standing at the gate of Sodom … indicating he was now a leader in town (Genesis 19).

What struck me wasn’t that he ended up in such a compromised situation … but, how he gradually declined to it.  It seems it all started with his gazing “toward Sodom”.  

It immediately struck me how compromise in my own life generally doesn’t happen swiftly … but as a gradual decline.  I prayed … “Lord, what am I “looking toward” … what am I gazing at that can be … or is … the catalyst to spiritual compromise in my life?”

I will be honest … what 1st came to mind was the gazing I had overcome.  Let’s start with the positive right?  I no longer gaze toward houses I longingly wish I could inhabit  …  or more importantly … back towards a house I wish I still inhabited.  The day I stopped looking back at our Brentwood home … was the day the developing compromise of covetousness was squelched and the blessing of obedience truly took hold.

Next up …. I realized how I longingly desire for a trim/thin body however, I also longingly gaze at cookies, bread, extra portions at meal time … and of course, potato chips.  This realization taught me the danger of gazing “towards” such pleasures … but a step deeper is when I start partaking … by figuratively pitching my tent in the pantry.  Hmmmmmm.

At first I didn’t realize I was going deeper within my soul when I thought of my longing for a truck.  Simple right?  I have always been a truck girl.  I only owned trucks until my back injury in 2000.  I still long for one.  But, as I laughed at the seemingly unimportance of it all … I felt a tug that there was something deeper for me to realize.  

If I were a vehicle … I would be an off road truck!  Rugged … able to roll over any obstacle that stood in my way … complete with a strong horn of warning, yet soft and cozy on the inside … always playing music in the background.

The thing is … … trucks are meant to transport stuff … not gather it.  I have gathered stuff along the way that was meant to be transported to the dump … but I jammed it out of sight into baggage … never meant to be carried … taking up space and adding weight as I travel along the way. Stuff like anger, resentment, fear, frustration and most heavy … regret. 

I ask myself … where does the compromise of transport vs. gather begin?  For me … it begins as I gaze forward at issues that belong to others or is simply trash on the side of the road.  It travels deeper as I co-dependently pick up & carry “baggage” I was never meant to carry … it eventually becomes a part of me as I pitch a tent for it to rest in the back of my truck … and I stand at it’s gate professing there is no more space for God’s intended purposes … I am full and overwhelmed.

However, comma … this is not the end.  God rescues the righteous.  He teaches us.  He provides for us … He warns us to not “look back” at what he has destroyed … but forward to the wondrous work He is creating.  

Am I gazing … each moment … in the right direction?  I shall ponder … … …

SUGGESTIONS & COMPROMISE

Suggestion – an idea, plan, or action that is offered for acceptance or rejection

We’ve had a lot of “projects” making this house our home.  When I am project manager … Barry has this recurrent phrase he uses; “Can I make a suggestion?”  

When I am in my “I am determined to make this work the way I first envisioned” mode … the answer is likely “no”.  The suggestion comes anyway.   The suggestion is “rejected” … the suggestion is repeated because it wasn’t really offered with the option of rejection …….  A stall happens …  

When I am taking a more open-minded approach to my role as project manager … things go quite differently … more smoothly.  The suggestions still come… still may or may not be accepted … but, I have learned that compromise is a great tool for moving forward.

Compromise – the settlement of a dispute by concessions on both or all sides.

The Bible councils that compromise is needed when dealing with the complexities and ambiguities of [sinful] man … but not acceptable when dealing with a holy and omnipotent God.  

Oddly, it took me a while to figure this out.  I mean … if I can compromise on a suggestion of how art is displayed in our home … shouldn’t I be allowed to expect God to compromise with me about how my “attitude” is displayed to said “Suggestor”?  Yeah ….. no ….

The Theology of Sandi believes that compromise with man is a medication to help heal … however, compromise with God is a drug used dangerously and without prescription.

My attitude is the area I am most likely to try a justification or compromise process with God.  It usually starts with the words “I deserve”.  

Then I remember Christ … who came to stand in my place mercifully for what I truly deserve.  If I allow myself to stall for a ponder … I am able to let go of my self-justification.  

The question is … “Will I?” …. I shall ponder …