Something Andrew said this morning on the Gospel Truth really hit home with me:
You’re always going to turn out better if you stand on your convictions rather than compromise.
Lately, I’ve found myself in situations with people who—just like Andrew describes—are people who “don’t let the Bible get in the way of what they believe.” Through the course of discussion and fellowship with them, I discovered that they read what they believe in the Bible, instead of believewhat they read.
In each of these situations, I had a choice. I could share the truth with them as the Word says it or soften it and take some of the edges off, so as to not turn them off. But do you know what that’s called? It’s called man-pleasing; i.e., compromising. And Andrew says bluntly, “Compromise is a language of the devil.”
Yowch! While hearing that may not make me feel good, I want to be wise and receive truth (Prov. 9:8) the same way I want others to receive it when I speak to them. Paul probably went through the same struggles when he wrote, “If I wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10, Easy-to-Read Version).
Well, I want to be a servant of Christ. But I don’t enjoy confronting people. Challenging what someone believes is offensive. Now, I don’t think I get a pass to be offensive just for the sake of being offensive. But the Scripture talks about speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4:15). That’s another way of saying be bold but not cold. So, if I’m going to be a servant of Christ, I can’t be afraid to be offensive. I’m only relaying what He told me to say and do.
It’s like being a messenger. A good messenger delivers the entirety of a message in the way, or manner, the sender instructed. In a world where standing up for truth invites persecution, rejection, and hatred, something in me still desires to be a good messenger.
However, being a messenger is about much more than just challenging someone’s beliefs. Andrew explains that “you just do not compromise who you are and what God has made you to be, what God has called you to be; you don’t compromise.”
Wow, when I compromise, I’m not embracing my identity. I’m actually quashing it! I don’t like the sound of that. I want to step up and be who God made me to be, without apology. Andrew explains what this looked like for Daniel and his friends in the Bible:
“The Babylonians were trying to separate Daniel and his three friends from their core beliefs and tried to make them in the image of the Babylonians, but Daniel and Hananiah and Mishael and Azariah—they wouldn’t compromise, they wouldn’t change, and that was the beginning of the spirit of excellence.”
The purpose for walking in an excellent spirit is not so you can say, “I’m awesome!” Andrew says, “If you truly have your identity in Christ and what He’s done in you, it will lead to humility.”
So, in the case of being bold but not cold, it’s a matter of me humbling myself and embracing how God made me. It’s just me being me.
To learn more about what it means to have an excellent spirit, watch Andrew Monday through Friday on the Gospel Truth. His Excellence: How to Pursue an Excellent Spirit series will be airing all this month.