Recently I had the opportunity to spend a little girl time with one of my friends. Gotta say, it was so nice to have some time to talk about deep things, funny things, and just some plain old girl things. It was especially nice when my friend offered me a few pieces of her favorite chocolate. (I mean, girl time and chocolate, what is better than that??) Let me say that the chocolate was DELICIOUS. It tasted so completely rich. Knowing that rich delicious chocolate doesn’t always agree with my stomach and that I still had a three hour ride to get back home that night, I decided to eat just one piece and save the other for later. Sitting it down next to me, we went on with our chat. About a half hour later I stood up and noticed a little chocolate on my hand. I thought, "Oh well, no big deal, I must have smudged the piece I ate.” It wasn’t until I went back to the sofa I was sitting on that I realized there was melted chocolate all over the seat. (Oh NO!!!) Thankfully, it was a plastic sofa it cleaned up easily with a wet paper towel. Whew—Crisis averted. (Because let’s be honest, I didn’t want to be the friend who came to visit and ruined the couch. That would be mortifying!) Then it hit me—-if I was sitting on the sofa and there was melted chocolate all over the sofa, what did the back of my dress look like? Quickly heading to the bathroom I saw it—-melted chocolate all over the back of my dress. (You can imagine what it looked like!) I spent the next 5 minutes trying to wash the chocolate out of my dress in their bathroom sink. Of course now the back of my dress was sopping wet and I spent the next few hours in a wet dress that was twisted so that the back was actually in the front so it could dry. Thankfully, my friend was gracious and it was a warm day so I didn’t mind the damp dress. (It was actually cooling.) Still I couldn’t help being a little embarrassed and wondering, “How could one little piece of chocolate (that was in a foil wrapper) affect so many areas and make such a mess?!?” As we were driving home that night I was thinking about how that incident and some of the conversations my friend and I had throughout the day. One of the things we talked about was how compromising with sin is one of the major problems keeping Christians from experiencing all that God as for them in this life and putting their eternal jeopardy in danger. The more I thought about our conversations the more I realized that compromise is a lot like the tiny chocolate egg that spread all over the place threatening to damage my friend’s sofa and my dress. It starts off small—we think it’s no big deal to sin just a little—-to compromise and do what we know is wrong—-to disobey God’s Word just a few times. It isn’t until the consequences of that sin spread into our lives causing damage that we realize, “This was not a good choice.”
Over time that “little thing” is damaging our relationship with God, our relationship with others, and our ability to be the women God wants us to be and live the lives He has for us. Unfortunately the damage caused by sin doesn’t always clean up as easily as a plastic sofa and a polyester dress and it takes a lot of time and effort to recover the damage we could have avoided had we chosen not to compromise in the first place. That’s why I’m a HUGE believer that as Christians we need be vigilant to avoid the temptation to compromise in our lives. We need to read God’s Word and make a conscious effort to obey God’s Word in every area of our lives. As I’ve said so many times, the problem with compromise and getting as close as you can to sin without getting burned is that it’s too dangerous. It’s like standing on the edge of a cliff—it seems safe, but one wrong move, one loss of balance, one shift of dirt under your feet, and you’ve fallen. I’ve seen it too many times where Christians who thought they could handle pushing the boundaries or just compromising a little got too close to the edge and literally destroyed their lives and the lives of people around them as they stumbled off the cliff into a life of sin because they thought they could handle "just a little compromise". On the other hand, I’ve learned through years of walking with Jesus, that if you stay away from compromise, if you establish healthy boundaries to avoid sin, you are less likely to experience a fall. As the old saying goes, “If you don’t play with fire…you don’t get burned.” That’s why I believe it’s important that as Christians we strive not just to avoid sin, but also to avoid compromise. It may seem like a little thing now…but compromise has the potential to do tremendous damage. In the end, it isn’t worth the mess it will make of your life or the price you will pay.
Today I challenge you to think about this, to pray about it and ask the Holy Spirit if there are areas of compromise in your life that He wants you do overcome. Are there areas of sin where you are pushing the boundaries too far? Do you need to make changes in your life to get back on the straight and narrow? Remember: sometimes it’s the little things—the things we excuse and think are no big deal—that cause the most pain. Like a little piece of melted chocolate, a little compromise can cause a lot of damage.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.