In this year of the unknown, I've set several smaller goals to focus on: personal, physical, and spiritual. In addition to reading the stack, I'm choosing to make healthier eating choices and pay closer attention to my compromises with the world, the little things that slowly erode the foundation over time. Compromise is the common denominator among these three—the choice to waste time online or make progress in my stack of books, to indulge my craving for sweets or drink another glass of water, to actively obey God's commands rather than following after what the world says is okay. It all comes down to choices.
|Photo by Nathan Boadle on Unsplash|
Choices. We make them every day. I've been a Christian for most of my life, and in that time I have knowingly turned a blind eye on a lot. Whether it was towards my sexual purity as a teenager or my mental purity in what films and television shows I watched as an adult, I have not always walked the paths of the Lord, or considered His counsel. I have been judgmental when I should have been introspective and contrite. I have sought to follow Christ...while keeping a foot (or feet!) firmly planted in the world.
About a decade ago now, God started convicting me in many of these areas, and change began to take place, despite my protestations that "it wasn't really that bad!" I recall the time when I loaned our complete set of James Bond films to a young man, later regretting our choice as we thought about what he would be seeing—hardly edifying for a young, single, male with intentions of remaining sexually pure until marriage. For that matter, when the Hubs and I watched 007, we excused the language and violence, but most importantly, we excused the flagrant sex with multiple partners and Bond's self-indulgent usage of women, because as as a married couple, "it didn't bother us." Oh how blinded we were!
Over time, I've realized that things that I enjoyed for the first 30+ years of my life—movies, music, even some books—now hold little interest, and things that I found humorous no longer make me laugh, as I consider the ways in which they contradict what God declares to be holy and good. And yet, despite the growth, including purging our extensive film and television DVD collection, the little compromises have continued. Sure, we traded in our 007 adventures for credit at a local shop, and we purged most of the movies where they misused the Lord's name, but there were still the odd few that we just couldn't bring ourselves to ditch.
Little compromise by little compromise, the world and it's point of view sneaked into my daily life. During the holidays I noticed it in many of the Christmas songs that I've always enjoyed and sung along to, even classics like, "Baby It's Cold Outside." It first caught my attention when I heard the kids singing along, and I started thinking about the words of the song and what it was advocating. I have four girls. Do I really want them thinking, even subconsciously, that letting a man talk them into doing something they know is wrong, is actually okay, just because it's cold outside and he's a smooth talker? There will always be excuses beyond weather, but is this what I want them to listen to and accept as normal? I have a son as well. Are these the kinds of ideas I want him to go into his teenage years with, that to sweet talk a girl into compromising on her integrity is a cool thing?
You may be sitting there thinking, "Come on, Carrie. Really? It's just a song! Don't put too much focus on it!" But that's the point, and that's where God has really been leaning on me in the last few weeks - that one compromise leads to another. It's all the little things, the seemingly harmless bits, that sneak in the quickest and take root in our hearts and minds. Titus 2:12 reminds us that the grace of God, through His offer of salvation, "teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." If we want to live and look like Christ, then we must first pay attention to the little compromises that we make without even thinking.
Food for Thought:
Do you have "little compromises" in your life that need to be squashed?