What does the Bible teach about compromise?

Compromise can be positive—as in coming to an agreement by accommodation, or negative—such as lowering standards. The Bible clearly instructs us not to compromise God's standards.

Psalm 119:1–4 says, "Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently."

God expects those committed to Him and His ways to be uncompromising (1 Kings 18:21; John 8:47; 10:27; Matthew 6:24). His Word is our primary source of instruction and authority (Deuteronomy 4:2; Psalm 119:128; Revelation 22:18–19). Our devotion to God and His ways leaves no room for deviation (Joshua 24:15; Psalm 119:10, 15).

Colossians 2:8 exhorts, "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elementary spirits of the world, and not according to Christ."

When we study and know God's ways, His instruction, and His expectations, we can then give a reason for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15). We are to defend the faith, correcting those who oppose it or are confused (1 Corinthians 16:13–14; 2 Timothy 2:24–25). We stand firm and uncompromising in faith as we rely on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13–14; Galatians 5:1–25; Philippians 2:12–13).

The ways of the world are in opposition to the ways of God (Romans 8:6–9). There is a constant battle between the ruler of this world and the Ruler of eternity. As Christians, we are to be aware of the struggle and choose the side of God.

Ephesians 6:12 tells us, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rules, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." We have the armor of God as we engage in this battle.

The Bible warns us of many pitfalls which either tempt us to compromise or reveal compromise. Many will be lured by the temporal (Mark 4:18–19; Acts 20:30; 1 John 2:16–19). Second Timothy 4:3–4 says, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."

God has warned us of the temptation to compromise and equipped us to remain uncompromising. In John 14:15 Jesus told His disciples, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." (See also 1 John 5:3; 2 John 1:6).

Second Timothy 3:16–17 says, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." God's Word helps us stay focused on His truth and stand unwavering in it.

We are not to be wishy washy about our faith, but solidly committed to God's ways (Deuteronomy 17:11; Proverbs 24:7; Revelation 3:15–16). We do this by actively growing in our relationship with Him, learning His truths, and relying on His power to help us walk without compromise.

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