Compromise is Not a Dirty Word!

Compromise happens at work, at home, in friendships, at church, and driving during rush hour…you have a place you are trying to get to and someone barrels in with their plan. Do you cause an accident or let them merge?

Everyone must be willing to compromise in some areas but determining when it is appropriate is so tricky! There are also times when compromise shouldn’t happen and that is equally as important. Some personalities love to be in charge and being willing to concede is extraordinarily painful for them but all the more necessary. Other personalities so desire peace (or acceptance, etc.) that they are open to compromising too much and that can cause problems. Who you are and who you are dealing with are very important things to consider in this business of compromise in addition to “the compromise” itself.

Does your compromise actually stand in the way of what you hope to achieve? Are there fears and regrets in the middle of the compromise? Are you surrendering your better judgement or core values? Some things are really not that important and other things can change the course of your life…forever.

So what if you find yourself in a situation where you have compromised a little too much, are experiencing regret, and are having a difficult time getting back to “the line in the sand” you had previously established? Maybe establishing “the line” wasn’t important previously but as you grow and mature you see the benefit from having a boundary. Ponder the situation. Pray about the situation. If your heart is restless, I would guess that the compromise you struggle with is probably more than should have been surrendered. Sometimes you can ask yourself “How do I wish this situation looked right now?” and that might give you a clue to what you should be working towards. Have you talked it over with a trusted and wise friend? Have you visited with a trained counselor?

Boundaries can change over time and there are times they definitely should. Consider a parent who is in charge of their child’s every day. Typically, the day will come when that child moves away. Has the parent given them wings to fly when the time comes by allowing the child (young adult, adult) increasing opportunity to make decisions and grow in being responsible for themselves? This is tricky business for parents but it can also be difficult at work, as you volunteer, and in many other relationships. Too much compromise can lead to regret and anger and an unsettling feeling. Too little compromise can lead to relationship challenges.

Pray for those you see compromising too much. Pray for those who are too often unyielding to ideas that don’t come from their own mind. Both extremes have their challenges. Spend some time thinking about your life and your compromises. If you are struggling with regret, seek God’s forgiveness. If you are struggling with anger, seek God’s peace.

Prayer and Petition

5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV)

This is a great passage to keep in mind. I actually learned it set to a tune by Integrity Music Scripture Memory Songs. They are a great way to hide some Scripture in your heart and mind. Whether you use music or not, it is important to take the time to study and memorize Scripture!

In case you do not have enough to pray for, I am going to let you take a little peek into my list. Feel free to share your prayer concerns in the comment section. Keep it to first names and you can include the state/country if you want. Don’t be too wrapped up in explaining the story because we know God knows and sees the whole picture so a sentence or two will do. I don’t want anyone to compromise anyone else’s privacy.

Sara in Nebraska–scheduled for hip surgery today, 5/12. Pray for accuracy of the medical team, successful surgery, and speedy recovery.

Ken in Colorado–has had several major heart procedures done this Spring following a heart attack. Pray for patience and recovery.

Karolina in Hungary–needs to fix up and sell an apartment in Hungary so she can return to college in August.

Justin in Ohio–is on a great mental and physical growth spurt! Yay! Justin is 8 and has autism. Please keep his whole family lifted up in prayer.

Joe in Texas–is patiently waiting for a full-time job to fully support his family. In the meantime the entire family unit is working together to get through this long bout of underemployment.

A struggling daughter of a dear friend–recently was beat up by her live in boyfriend. Pray for her wisdom,  courage, safety, and much better boundaries overall.

Emily in IN–has recently completed all chemo and radiation for breast cancer. Pray for continued cancer-free reports.

May God bless your week!

Boundaries

When I was younger, I loved to push the limit and see how close to the line I could come. I used to resent boundaries and consider them a challenge to overtake. Can you relate? Amazingly enough, I have kids who do the very same thing. It must be a part of that sinful, human nature.

I have learned many difficult lessons in life because I overstepped boundaries, didn’t enforce boundaries, and ignored boundaries. I am still learning, often the hard way. Boundaries are important in marriage, parenting, friendships, work relationships and are more than just a benefit.

Boundaries are a blessing.

Consider that God has placed boundaries around you for your protection–He tells you to stay away from certain things so you will be pure. God wants you to be safe from sin and danger and He helps you to do that by telling you things to avoid. He wants you to heed His words, for your blessing and benefit.

And wouldn’t it be great if we had no boundaries for God?
Allowed Him access to every dark corner of our lives?
Recognized that He supersedes physical boundaries by being omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent?

Psalm 16

1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.

5 LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the LORD.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

God’s boundaries are good!

Spirograph® Designs and Faith

At some point you have probably messed around with or at least seen a Spirograph® set. They can make some pretty cool designs. But recently I wondered how a Spirograph® can be a springboard for a conversation about faith.

We often crab about restrictions on our lives. Really, who likes rules and regulations? I am one who has often stepped out of line. I resented restrictions. But honestly, the times I walked over the line were the ones that brought heartache into my life.

Think about the large ring on the Spirograph®. It creates a boundary where the smaller wheels or gears can move and create incredibly beautiful patterns within the ring. Think of God’s laws or commandments as the large ring: fixed and dependable, providing structure and stability for the gear to move freely within the boundaries.

There are many ways to create beautiful patterns with a Spirograph®. Working within God’s boundaries can be freeing and refreshing. There is safety within His boundaries.

Are your fighting the boundaries that God has in place for your protection?