Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Compromising Thoughts

When I say the word "compromise" what comes to mind?

I am sitting on an airplane somewhere over Arizona on my way home from a meeting with some great friends in ministry. One of those discussion round tables that leave you wishing these leaders could all be within driving distance for a cup of coffee. Some of the kindest, smartest, and funnest (just go with it) people in ministry I know gather for a two day round table. We are kids ministry leaders of large multi-site churches that all get together once a year to share and learn from each other .While we are all evangelical churches, some of the deeper roots of our theology may vary from person to person, but at the end of the day we are all trying to reach kids for Jesus and love the people in and of our ministries well. 

I have always been fascinated by the act of compromise. 
By definition:
  •  An agreement or settlement of dispute that is reached by each side making concessions. 
  • A middle state between conflicting actions or opinions reached by mutual concession or modification. 
  • The acceptance of standards that are lower than is desirable.
In the last 48 hours I have been in 3 states, 3 airports, a hotel and one of the largest churches in the country. Oh, and quite a few restaurants. As I people watched my way to Texas and back, I love to see how people make compromises with complete strangers. Sometimes I think hidden manners just appear in airports - what is that about? While not true of everyone, most of us seem to be on our best behavior as if our moms will find out if we are rude.  Whether it's allowing two people to go through security together, while you go further back into the line or watching the lady next to me settle for a middle seat as she gives her aisle to the older gentleman with a cane or the guy who settled for a coke when he wanted a Pepsi. (Coffee drinkers don't have this problem - just sayin) People are willing to settle for a lower standard to keep the air happy. 

As I sit and reflect on the discussions that we had, I wonder at what point do some of the things we compromise on as believers, and as the church, begin to chisel away at our solid foundation. When does compromise = a lower standard that is acceptable in our faith? At what point does acceptance of something clearly endorse it? There are many controversial topics that question could apply to - but I personally think its one that we must ask ourselves on a daily basis.  Do I compromise and say my son doesn't have to do his chores because he's behind on homework? Or do I keep a high expectation with consequences that will be a learning experience? Do I compromise on policies that keep a high level of standards in our kids building? Or do I compromise on a situational basis?

My friend Bob Goff says it best, get out there and love people! Agreed Bob!! But as we discussed the many things we struggle with as leaders I had to ask myself this question. Am I compromising in a way that blurs the truth? When we make compromises that stretch what we believe for the sake of acceptance - are we diminishing the teaching of the Bible? 

I believe we can love people, serve them well, and honor them while standing firm in our beliefs and not watering down scripture. I believe in grace, loving those I am in complete disagreement with and still not putting on goggles to see scripture the way I think it should look. 

Notice there's no answers to this post - simply posed questions that as you design things for kids and parents and families can be reflected on. 

The truth is we are called to love the world, but that is simultaneous with looking nothing like the world. A call that I am constantly trying to keep in check, and pray I can teach well.  

No comments:

Post a Comment