“Mommy, are these the hot dogs?!” My sweet, wide eyed toddler asks….with complete understanding that what she is indeed holding is a bag of chocolate chips. Now, I know I am tired, but does she really think I am that weak willed? She senses exhaustion and moves in, “I think this is dinner, Mommy.” (The chocolate is attractively dangled in front of me.)
Nice try. But chocolate isn’t for dinner.
This kind of thing happens all day, everyday in our spiritual lives. We are tempted with sin, Satan is on constant standby, dangling the bag of chocolate. For each of us, for our fellowships. Truth and unity – constantly under attack in our households and congregations. The reality is that a Christian’s day is choc o block full of decisions on whether or not to compromise convictions. Anyone who doesn’t agree with that may not be making too many decisions. Discipleship was never meant to be a cake walk where we set the agenda and the script plays out according to our own directing. The cross and the resurrection have the leading role, we are merely extras, albeit extras to a loving and involved Director. At the end of 1 Corinthians 15, we are prodded, because of the resurrection of the Christ, and the resurrection of the Body, to stand firm. Let nothing move us, give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because the cross means that dedication to God, our first love, is not in vain.
I used to think that this was a call to hang in there, stick with it, keep going. I still do – but not at the expense of compromising my own devotion to God, not at the expense of minimizing the cross and the resurrection. We are not called to coddle the compromise of conviction. It is known that for some the cross is foolish. Some will proclaim its greatness but allow it no practical effect or application in their lives and decisions. Do I labor for them? Sure, in prayer. We are never called to be jerks to or to maliciously seek ill will for those who don’t choose Christ. But instead of letting nothing move me from my physical act of doing, my heart is challenged to a higher calling. Let nothing move my heart from loving God. Compromise has a way of sneaking in, and taking the spotlight away from God. Compromise has a way of trying to swap out the hot dogs with chocolate chips.