Have you ever heard the story of the fellow who could not decide what side he wanted to fight for during the Civil War? He decided to put on the coat of the North and the trousers of the South, and guess what? He got shot at from both sides! I would want to believe that the capitalistic mindset predominant in the day to day business, has contributed to a large extent in making compromise a lucrative venture for many. The outcome is that compromise insidiously erodes the already unstable value system, throwing everything that matters down the drain and this could lead to the death of our societal moral conscience.
All it takes is a moment of hesitation to do the right thing, desperation, and choosing whether to give in to fear or to make the right choice. The famous “grey area” metaphor seems to be the tune that most people have adopted, making honesty a very precious commodity. The societal norm has leaned towards accepting and adopting the attitude that has allowed black and white to be turned into grey, even terming the acts of compromise as “necessary evil”
The question then remains, whether right or wrong is enough to evaluate the consequences of an action anymore. “No, there has to be another explanation! We can justify our actions! It was necessary! There was no other option!” these and more are only too familiar phrases that we hear when the ‘grey area’ has been crossed. For some time now I have wondered whether losing one’s integrity is worth the disastrous results that is the aftermath. Has the societal values been watered down by the innumerable times we have had to compromise? The norm has been ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ but we can spearhead change in our various spheres of life.
In your workplace, it only takes ‘NO’ to acts of bribery and corruption or fleeing like Joseph did, and you will be on your way to start a new culture of honesty. When Joseph was faced with a very enticing offer to commit adultery, with Potiphar’s wife, who had tempted him not once or twice but on several occasions, Joseph literally fled. Joseph’s response, was not only verbal but also physical, followed by an acknowledgement that what Potiphar’s wife was asking of him was in direct violation of God’s will.
Looking at Joseph’s response to the compromising situation, I believe that it’s not just enough to say I will not do it when it pertains to compromise, but your actions and beliefs as to why you are not indulging in the vice need to clearly come out. To stand apart, you need to be different, unique in the way you do your things, and having integrity is a sure way of making you the Joseph of today.
It is also often said that a man’s greatest strength are also the source of his greatest weakness. Looking at Samson, whose strength was his hair and also the source of his downfall. Once he was shaved by Delilah after enticing him, Samson was captured and turned into a slave. If we are not careful, sometimes our strong convictions could lead us to compromise. We need to be firm in our beliefs but we cannot rely entirely on our strength, we need to rely on God for guidance.
Compromise causes us to begin rotting slowly but steadily in the inside. It is a conscious step to refusing to follow the right path and plunging head forward into the deep sea of sin. The Bible clearly says, “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.”(1 John 1:6 NIV) this means that you cannot proclaim to be a Christian while you give room for a little compromise.
Quoting the lines of the song by Casting Crowns, Slow Fade, relying on the text of the lyrics, the message is clear.
“…It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade…”
To listen to the whole song go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUa8FSVv5Ag
By Drusilla Anyango’15