The danger of subtle compromises & what to do about it: It’s a Adam and Eve thing.

This is what came my way in one day.  One!
  • Go home and drink the whole bottle.  That’s what I do.
  • Take a pill with a drink and you will sleep better.
  • Oh your doing that.  ( a comment made after I said I help people after work on Friday’s)
  • Stay home with us.
  • Sit down and rest.  You deserve it.
  • A man talks with me in my office, several times.
  • A man asks me to ride with him alone to the meeting.
  • A man sends me emails that are not work related.
  • I do everything, but read my bible.
  • I think about praying as I fall asleep.
  • I vow to do better tomorrow and concentrate more on God.
  • Mom, I got the hottest gossip, I reply.
  • I wonder how someone is and check out their FB page instead of contacting them.
  • I hit the snooze button instead of getting up & doing my devotional.
  • A song reminds me of someone I cared for once and shouldn’t now.  I keep listening to the song and keep thinking.

 

wrong way
Photo by akahawkeyefan on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

 

Compromises.
I am not going to take a pill with alcohol because someone says I should, but the seed of compromise is planted.  The seed= do this it’s easier & forget what you value. 
I work in a secular world,  I am liked when I walk and talk as others do.  They walk away when I talk about the ministry I serve in.  The seed=don’t talk about your faith.
Stay home, sit down and rest.  Not a big deal unless it side tracks you from other things like getting your responsibilities done (a big deal to God), helping and loving others, and getting your work done so you can pray and jump into God’s Word.  The seed=focus on you, not Him.
A man, a man, a man.  I am not committing adultery when I talk to co-workers, ride in a man’s car, or respond to an email, but I am beginning down a road that could lead to some big compromises.  If my husband were with me would this happen?  If not than a seed is being planted.  The seed=this doesn’t violate intimacy.
I am a busy woman.  I blog, work 45 hours a week at my full time job, work a second job, am working on my MBA, still have two kids at home, juggle adult children, a husband, and am in the middle of remodeling the house in preparation to sell the house.  I bet your list is as long or longer.  We are all busy.  I get physically and mentally exhausted, I fall asleep on the recliner trying to read my homework, I don’t get time to read my bible and pray, but could I make time?  The seed=do this instead.
My daughter wants to tell me about gossip.  It’s actually a big deal in someone’s life and the moment it goes from concern to gossip is the moment I start to make inappropriate comments and jokes.  It’s the moment I start wondering about the people involved and start stalking their FB page.  It’s the moment I go from caring about their trial to being overly nosy.  The seed=you are connecting with your daughter, this is harmless.
Perhaps the greatest temptation.  Don’t have a routine that includes God or allowing our selves to get off the routine.  The seed=this X, is better, you will get to Him later.  Do we?
Our thought life.  A song reminds me, I have a natural memory surface and let it ride out.  It’s a harmless memory.  I listen to the song.  The song is good.  I download it on my phone.  I have the memory again.  I am in no danger of acting on the memory, but my thought life has been corrupted.  If you combine this with some of the other compromises a pattern can develop and we can be in danger of straying far from the narrow path.
So what’s the big deal?
Well the big deal is many of these things aren’t so bad.  It’s not bad to sleep in a few minutes.  It’ s not bad to talk with a co-worker.  It’s not bad to take a pill.  It’s not bad to ride in the car with a man.  It’s not bad to respond to my daughter’s texts and ask questions about people who are struggling.  It’s not bad to fall asleep in the recliner and promise myself I will read and pray tomorrow, but over time these things can become a problem.
The big deal is all the problems and issues that we deal with started small.  A seed was planted and it grew.  We tried living an unchecked and unanalyzed life and it didn’t lead us to a good place.  We thought we would be okay  if we checked in with God just on Sunday’s, but the moment a major trial entered our life we figured out that was wrong.  We needed Him constantly and desperately.
The big deal is seeds grow.  Temptation grows into sin.  Sin destroys lives.  Ask Adam and Eve how that went for them.  Remember when the serpent asked Eve a simple question, “did God say?”  That didn’t turn out so well, for all of us.  Thanks to a simple compromise the fall of mankind happened.
The Remedy
It’s not easy, but it’s doable.
  1.  Know the standard.  When God sets us apart we began on a journey of change.  Every year we grow closer to Him.  We should see less of ourselves and more of God.  It’s a process.  The standard is the same, but the way we live it out should get tighter and tighter as time goes on.  As I grow in God my spirit is quickened when I sin.  I can’t get away with what I used to.  We have to know the standard to know if we are straying from it.  This means knowing God’s Word, striving to rid ourselves of sin, and growing deeper in our relationship with God.
  2.  Confession.  Admit to God your sin.  It’s a powerful tool towards becoming more like God and for fighting Satan’s attacks.  Admit that you shouldn’t have done XXX and you will empower yourself with what you need to fight compromise.  Justify compromise and you are in danger.
  3. Accountability.  Sometimes we need someone who can keep us accountable when we struggle.  As a biblical counselor I was able to provide that for people.  Someone to talk to about real problems and ask how things were “really” going.  If we are serious about walking the narrow way we sometimes have to consider this step.  If not then we need to get used to the idea of living out the consequences.
  4. Make a plan.  If I come home feeling a little guilty because I rode alone again in a car with a man at work and hope that a quick arrow prayer and reading some bible verses will provide my way out of temptation I would be wrong.  In some cases we can catch ourselves, but in others we need a plan of action.  What will we do when we feel the temptation to do this action or say this thing?  What exact verses can we commit to memory that will help us in our time of need?  Do we need to involve others to help us, do we need to change jobs, move, drive a different way home, you name it.  Having faith and trusting in God does not negate our responsibility to take actions to avoid temptation.
In the morning I will drive to work—again.  I will go through the motions and do all the right things to earn a paycheck.  I will come home and start my nightly routine.  Day will feed into day and before I know it another year will go by.  If I am not careful the small compromises I make everyday will bleed into each other and before I know it I will live as if God didn’t exist.  The thing is I need Him and I want to serve Him and love others.  To do that I can’t let the small compromises get me off track.  The world needs us to fulfill the mission.  If we are going to have any hope of doing that we must not compromise and  take our eyes of Him.
Let’s fight the fight!
Marcy Pedersen

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