Compromise…Not An Option

Posted: November 4, 2011 in Articles

Wow…I can’t believe it is already November. Fall is in full swing. Turkeys are feeling a bit uneasy. The anticipation of dressing and gravy, sweet potato soufflé (which, by the way, I only get at Thanksgiving and Christmas…despite my tantrums), and honey baked ham is almost too much to bear. The Lions and the Cowboys stay true to tradition and will once again ensure we have football on Thanksgiving Day. College football rivalries are at their peak. We find ourselves a bit more aware of the blessings in our lives. We make a point to thank and honor those men and women who have served their country, past and present, in our Armed Forces. For all who have served and who are currently serving, Thank You.  And, of course, we celebrate the birthday of the United State Marine Corps. Happy 236th Birthday, Marines. Oorah! Semper Fi.

It has been said many times that character is what happens when no one is watching. That is absolutely true. Unless we have the self discipline and the inner fortitude to do the right thing when no one is watching (of course, there is One who sees everything), chances are much greater that we will not have what it takes to stand our ground when it counts…when others are watching. In today’s world of instant gratification and eroding ethics, maintaining a high level of principles and living an uncompromising life is deemed…well…radical. The book of Daniel is definitely one of my favorite books of the Bible. No matter how many times I read it, I either learn something new or gain a new perspective. The stories of Daniel and the lion’s den and Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) being thrown into the fiery furnace are two of the most beloved stories of the Bible. Both stories end with God showing His faithfulness to those who love, trust, and follow Him. But we sometimes forget how God’s faithful servants ended up in the lion’s den and the furnace. Both situations resulted from an unwillingness to compromise principles, beliefs, and commitments to God despite the potential repercussions.  And in both stories, it could be argued that their (Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) compromise could be justified given the societal perspective and potential outcome …death. I marvel at the unwavering conviction, courage, faith and fortitude of the three young men, likely in their late teens, as they stood before a merciless king and essentially told him that their God would come through and save them. But even if He didn’t, death by fire was more appealing than bowing before anyone, or anything, other than the God of heaven.  Wow…that is awesome.

That sentiment of “acceptable compromise” is alive and well today. For the majority of us, we will never face a situation where our choice of whether or not to compromise means the difference between life and death. However, we have all faced the choice between what we know to be right and what we know to be wrong, despite the choice’s level of “worldly acceptance”.  When there is an audience of only one…the One…it is sometimes easier to do what is right. But when we are out in public, with a group, or even our family, and presented with a choice of whether or not to stand our ground…maintain our principles…doing what we know is right is sometimes more difficult, especially when the only other person in the group that agrees with our position is God. Peer and societal pressures, eroding values, and the sentiment of “acceptable compromise”, put significant pressure on all of us, especially young men, to maintain a Godly perspective and stand firm in principles and values. Every day, it seems, we hear of men, many prominent and respected men of faith, succumb to the pressure and compromise their values and ethics. Our challenge…bottom line: “Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9. We face choices every day. And even though we want to make the right ones, the ones that the Almighty would want us to make, we don’t always do it. However, there is an incredible thing called grace…and a promise that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. (Rom 8:39). Christ tells us that whatever we ask of Him in His name, He will do it. (John 14:14) So take Him up on His offer. Ask Him for the power to stand firm in faith when faced with choices large and small. Not sure you can? Remember… there is power in the blood of Jesus. And we can do everything through Him who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13).

Until we meet again…keep it real…keep your focus vertical…and Armor Up.

 Don’t forget: Join the movement…wear the gear…spread the Message…and help save a soul. Make a powerful and life changing statement without saying a word. Visit www.DontDieStupid.net and get your limited edition “Don’t Die Stupid” t-shirt today. 

The above article was published in the November 2011 issue of Power Source Magazine (www.powersourcemagazine.com) and can be viewed HERE.

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