Personal Challenge #3 – No Compromise
19th Birthday, Journal Entry
Dad just came in and asked to add something to my birthday card. He wrote, “No Compromise”. That’s what I’m doing now, isn’t it? Not compromising? Maybe it’s a reminder for the future.
The definition of “compromise”:
– The acceptance of standards that are lower than is desirable.
– To bring into disrepute or danger by indiscreet, foolish, or reckless behavior.
– Cause to become vulnerable or function less effectively.*
Compromise is the reason I have two testimonies, 6 years apart. I turned away from promiscuity and partying when I was 18. God clearly led me to YWAM and to Japan, and I followed Him! I shared my testimony in many places in Japan, singing 「もう振り向かない」”I won’t turn away anymore” after each time of sharing. After YWAM, I started out with strong standards, but I gradually began to compromise… drinking a bit too much, making out a bit too much.
I started a new relationship when I was 21. One night, we stayed out way too late, parked outside of my house. I had a choice to make: sneak into my house and possibly wake people up, or stay at his house. I really wasn’t planning on sleeping with him! But he assumed that staying at his house meant sex. And my reaction was, “Well, I guess this is happening again”. 3 years of ‘no sex’ ended, just like that. We were in a relationship for 1.5 years, trying to recommit our relationship to God’s ways but struggled to backtrack since we’d already slept together. We got engaged and started planning our wedding, but I felt God clearly say to slow down. After slowing down the wedding planning, everything unravelled and we ended up breaking up. I know I obeyed God in the decision to slow things down. But after my obedience came the biggest heartbreak of my life. How would I handle this heartbreak? Would I follow through on my obedience and run to God? Would I wait on Him and receive ALL that I need? Or would I settle for the tangible yet superficial, immediate yet temporal, short-term gain but long-term loss?
Journal Entries, Age 23
I want to start this year off by beginning to talk to You again. I have been so hurt, so angry, and so confused because of the breakup. Heal me. My broken heart. Can this all somehow be used for Your Glory someday?
Had coffee with a friend today. She said she had a word for me that God was saying to me: Not to panic in terms of being single now – if I panic I lower my standards. Hmmm….
I cry at night, still alone, no God. Don’t know how to feel Him near.
It’s coming down to a decision making time: the short-term pull towards compromise, or persevering for the long-term desires of my heart of knowing Jesus and walking in purity. Needing to choose the right one. A choice for forever.
God I need wisdom from you for how to not want to spend time with [new casual boyfriend] even though I like it so much. I want to live in a sexually pure way, but he makes me feel so special… I know it’s not as deep as I desire, but it’s a shadowy glimpse into what I want… Don’t settle. No compromise.
I know my thought processes involved in my decision to say yes to compromise.
“It’s bad what I’m doing… this time is the LAST TIME…” I shut off everything, except the physical and emotional that are feeling so good. “This is the last time… better enjoy it as much as possible.” Then, by the end of the next week, I’m tired, mad, sad, etc. and I go out to play with fire: “Nothing will happen, I’ll just dance, oh nothing will happen, I’ll just dance with him, oh nothing will happen, I’ll just kiss him, oh nothing will happen, I’ll just take my clothes off.” Hiding from my conscience, hiding in the lie that I have no worth and that God doesn’t love me anymore.
I stumbled and fell hard this week. And felt totally unhappy throughout. Oh, that this could be the last lesson, that I won’t compromise again. I don’t want to do this anymore. My battle is between choosing the best for the future (God’s best) and my perceived “best” for just this moment.” I am fully aware that my version of best would end in hell-like circumstances, but nonetheless, the pull towards him is so great because I’d already given him some of me.
This suffocation is something I don’t ever want to experience again: the battle for my heart’s affections…. To God and His way…to my way (and sin).
God, help me to be strong in my decision. Help me to know You more.
Follow through on your choice to obey God. Obey when it’s hard, obey when it’s EVEN HARDER.
It’s pretty easy to walk in purity when things are easy. It’s pretty easy to make little grey-area compromises from time to time. It’s pretty easy to give up when it’s really hard. When things are hard, it’s so hard to say no to things that feel so good even if we know they’re bad for us. When things are hard, it’s hard to wait for God and His timing; it’s hard to trust He knows better.” It’s pretty easy to gradually forget why purity matters. It’s pretty easy to slide from little compromises into full-blown captivity.
We may compromise when we forget why it matters.
A young woman had heard that purity was important as a teenager, but when she got to her 30s she had forgotten why it mattered. She forgot why it mattered to be ‘counter-cultural’ and not have sex outside of marriage. She let her virginity go, and immediately realized what she had given up. She tearfully asked, “Why didn’t anyone remind me that purity mattered?”
We may compromise when we believe the lie that God is not coming for us.
I always wanted God. But did I want Him enough to wait for Him and trust His way of meeting me where I was?
“Oh that we might know the Lord!
Let us press on to know Him,
and He will respond to us as surely
as the coming of dawn or the rain of early spring.”
Hosea 6:3 (NLT)
We may compromise when we believe the lie that what we will get (from the temporary benefits of sin) will be more than what we will be giving up (the ramifications of sin).
Before I knew this truth, when I was faced with temptation, it was easy to fall to it because I thought I was getting more than what I would be losing. (See Romans 6:21)
When I feel lonely, discouraged, angry with God, tired… I could think that some kind of lustful transaction, even as small as locking eyes with some guy, or changing the expression of my eyes to something seductive, will fill me; that even a moment will be sufficient for me. But it never leaves me better than I was before. The appeal is, as a friend once said, chocolate-covered poo.
We may compromise again after a bad choice, thinking the second compromise doesn’t matter as much, because “I already did it.”
Each choice DOES matter. Each moment, after falling, repenting does matter, you don’t have to keep falling. Because each time you fall again, you will have to walk out more consequences, you’ll have to walk out more chains falling off. So choose freedom from this point on! And keep choosing freedom! Keep choosing God’s ways! THEY ARE FREEDOM. God’s grace is that EVERY choice is a new opportunity to choose Him, to choose the best thing. Mercies are new EVERY morning. This is a more proper understanding of this verse (than my misconception in Foundation #2; see also Romans 6:14).
Know that every choice is a crossroads. Never let the devil deceive you that your subsequent choice after a wrong choice doesn’t matter.
“You have been courted by my adversary, and you have chosen Me.”**
In each moment of difficulty, we are faced with the choice to either settle for a cheap imitation of what we think we need, or choose Jesus, and choose to trust Him, that He knows what we need and He provides it in the perfect time, and we can find all we need in Him. Each time I chose to turn to Jesus, my muscle to stand grew. Those old temptations began to lose their power. With each moment of choosing Him, I discovered more and more of who He is, and began to see that knowing Him would be a life-long adventure of discovering His limitless depths.
What has been your relationship with compromise? Let God search your heart and show you if there are any areas you are vulnerable to compromise.
1. Are my small, occasional compromises really that big of a deal?
The thing about compromise is it’s gradual. Gradual compromises can eventually lead to sin. Are there any areas in your life that you’re prone to compromise in? I can obey God in the moment, but can I follow it through when things get tough?
Can you remember a time when you made a really hard decision that you knew was right? Did things get easier or harder after that decision? If they got harder, what did you do?
2. “Don’t let your emotions sway you to compromise!”
How often did I say to myself, “Oh, but I feel like it. Whatever.” to justify COMPROMISE! What do you do when you face difficult emotions, whether minor or shattering? What does it mean to “turn to Jesus” instead?
3.Passivity in choices: “Well, I guess this is happening again.”
I used to just “let things happen”. Are there any areas in your life that you take a passive stance when you know you should be taking an active stance?
4. Let’s not be stubborn and keep turning away to compromise.
Is there one thing in particular in your life that serves as an obstacle to learning that God is the refuge in times of storm and struggle? God longs to show us Psalm 23 as a reality of our lives, He wants to show us that He is a Good Shepherd who has everything we need, but our stubbornness can get in the way and “how then can the Lord pasture them like lambs in a meadow?” (Hosea 4:16).
Come in by the gold gates or not at all,
Take of my fruit for others or forbear.
For those who steal or those who climb my wall
Shall find their heart’s desire and find despair.
C.S. Lewis, Magician’s Nephew
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
**Ted Dekker, White: The Great Pursuit
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