That’s my word today.
Compromise is good. Compromise is necessary.
Compromise is understanding and listening and finding a way.
You know what else it is?
Settling and conceding and “accepting standards that are lower than is desirable.” (dictionary of some sort when you google compromise).
When do you do it? When is compromise life-giving, and soul-feeding, and relationship-building?
And when is it crushing, life-sucking, light-extinguishing yuk.
I couldn’t think of another word except yuk.
That’s the thing about words. Sometimes you grab hold of a sparkly word like BLESS! And sometimes you think of YUK.
I have compromised and I have defended the compromise and I have excused the compromise and I have celebrated the compromise.
And I have, more times than I’d care to acknowledge, accepted standards that were lower than desirable.
When it’s not give and take and it’s only take—that’s not compromise.
That’s wall-flower. I have paid my dues on the wall.
Sitting down. Staying back.
Yesterday Emma Claire wanted something. Needed something.
It was an emergency, y’all! Life was crashing in and panic ensued in the “I’m an impassioned and precious 8-year-old girl and my every need must be met” kind of a way.
But then she paused and there was an earth-shattering surprise.
She softened. She offered another suggestion. (I know, right? I’m thinking it was my super calm reaction and awesome parenting).
“Perfect!” I said. “What a good compromise!”
I’ll be 44 on Sunday.
Have I mentioned this?
And slowly, the Lord is teaching (well, more like slowly I am learning,) what it means to make a good compromise.
And likewise, what it means to do the hard thing and refuse compromise. Refuse a life “settled for.” To stand-up against “standards that are lower than desirable.”
Nichole Nordeman sings, “Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I settle?
And why do I continue to find myself there. Here. In the vow.
As if this is holy work.
The middle ground is not sacred ground.
Jesus did not skirt the middle.
And I’m searching for a example of when He compromised.
“Peter, it’s Me. Your Lord. Come on out into the water.”
“Uh, yeah. No thanks. Pretty good here in the boat.”
“Ok, no problem dear Peter. I’ll just walk to you. I don’t want to inconvenience you or make you do one bless-ed thing you don’t want to do.”
Keeping the peace. Dang middle-child.
Keeping peace is not finding peace.
Keeping peace is not knowing peace.
Jesus says that we must lose our life to save it. Losing is not keeping.
This week I made hard choices.
I did hard things.
And the old demons of failure and rejection and not being good enough or smart enough or anything—
Came circling ’round.
But here’s the thing, friends. I’m seeking peace.
I’m no longer seeking to keep it.
True peace that only comes from the Prince of Peace.
And here’s what I know today.
It isn’t found in the middle ground. Because no-where in His Word can I find him there.
In the middle.
Yesterday, sitting on the deck with a dear friend, I noticed the first colors of fall.
Fall is coming. And the God who makes all things new is about to put on a grand display of just how beautiful change can be.
Just how beautiful letting go can be.
The leaves will fall and settle and land in the middle.
But I won’t.