An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions. Each side making concessions. Giving up something you want in order to get something in return. Losing something to gain something. It sounds good in principle and many counselors talk to their clients about compromise. Each giving a little for the better good. Accommodation. Bargain. Settlement. Deal.
Compromise sometimes works when we are interacting with another person, but there is a place in our personal lives where compromise is deadly. Let me illustrate this by the concept of “true north” versus “magnetic north” In magnetic north using a compass, various magnetic draws around us will sway a compass needle so that what it is actually pointing to is not actually north, but may be a degree or more off. True north is a point that never varies and is essential to properly navigate from our origin to our destination. If we allow these magnetic fields to influence our compass even a degree, we will end up in a different place than we anticipated.
In our personal life it is important to find our true north, a direction and purpose for our lives and not allow others or things to cause us to deviate from our course. It is so easy throughout life for distractions to get us off the track of our intended purpose. There are three friends in the Old Testament who were examples of staying focused on true north. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Israelite slaves who had been taken from their homeland and taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar were such people. One day the king decided to make an image of gold and wanted everyone in his kingdom to bow down to it. We read, “Your Majesty has issued a decree that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold, and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace. But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, Your Majesty. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”Daniel 3:10-12 NIV
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were asked to compromise their belief in their God and worship another god that had been made of gold. They could have compromised and done it outwardly, but not inwardly. They could have just gone through the motions and no one would have ever known. But they didn’t. They were willing to die rather than worship a god that would compromise their belief system. In reading the rest of the story, you will see an amazing thing that happened to them because they stayed true to their true north principles. They knew their true north in their lives and weren’t willing to compromise.
What are the true north principles in your life that you are willing to die for? What have you compromised in you life and have regrets about? It’s not too late on this journey to turn back and get back on the track of true north. It means admitting that my path is leading me in the wrong direction and wanting God to redirect me back to true north.