Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I grew up under the type of preaching that encouraged resolution and discouraged compromise.  One preacher was famous for saying that he cut the word “compromise” out of every dictionary he owned.  The point, of course, was to encourage staunch Christianity and avoid the slippery slope of moral decline.  There is good deal to admire in those who “stick by their guns” as we live in a fluid society with little sacred ground, and the attitude of mobile morality has affected even the faithful to an alarming degree.  That being said, there is more than one side to the issue, and the definition of compromise may be in the eye of the beholder.

It has been said that a person affirms what they allow.  This idea undergirds and lends plausible credence to those who never surrender any point.  Many have fallen on what they assumed was sure footing, and the declining road will often lead to unintended depths.  These things being true, the path to purity in many minds is avoidance of questionable things for fear of unseen consequences.  Participation in activities, attendance at events and like matters in this view are all seen as parts of a person’s testimony before others signifying what they deem morally and ethically correct.  How do our actions appear in the eyes of onlookers?

It’s not easy for a concerned practitioner to set a good example and enjoy the fruits of a life well-lived when it is impossible to foresee every pitfall.  In addition, it can be that a person operates in doubt and disdains certain perfectly permissible pursuits and positions.  No one knows everything, and the pervasive, sinful nature insures that evil is there with all of us in our most noble endeavors.  It is possible that those with heartfelt and somewhat logical positions are themselves wrong in one or more areas of their considered viewpoints.  Some people are so sincere they hurt, but that doesn’t mean they are always right.

We lives in days of deviance and should not set aside all concerns as old fashioned and throw ourselves on the restless sea of relevance even if there are seeming reasonable goals.  It is easy to forget the location of the holy place, and many (if not most) who have given up rigorous positions in order to have greater influence lost both their points and their power.  It may be possible to be flexible on a firm foundation, but that grace is not easily accessed by people prone to excess.  While it’s easier to be too hard or soft on any issue, the fear of ethical failure may prevent the exercise of wise compromise.  Sometimes, it is alright to give a little.

Every action makes a statement of some kind.  The things we embrace are the things we endorse.  The things we abhor are the things we avoid.  Many areas of life, however, are not easily valued even by those concerned with quality control.  It is important that we learn to remain grounded yet show ability to bend without breaking.  Ethical ideations range in value, and many of us have learned the hard way not to take stands making issues greater than they really are.  Change is a lifelong and necessary process and not always indicative of decay.  Sometimes, altering mindset or method is a matter of correction.

Jesus was full of grace and truth.  In Him we see glory- the glory of God.  Such glory will not be manifest in our lives if we do not reflect the same ideals whatever the tension.  This rocky road to realization is a great reason so much of the Bible is devoted to wisdom and the melding of law and gratitude.  There is a ditch on either side of the road, and there are needs for legalism and graciousness in every life.  We need to get both, and we need to give both.  I cannot reach the balance within myself.  The correct walk is the one taken with the Savior.  Be careful what you see, do and say.  The Father up above is looking down in love.

Sterl  

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