Compromise Based On Purpose, Priorities & Worldview
A compromise between two individuals or between governments means that differences are settled by each side making some concessions. The result should be beneficial to both parties. This is often far better than endless quarreling, feuding, disputing, fighting over disagreements or even all-out war. We sometimes call this “meeting someone halfway” or reaching a “happy medium.” However, compromise must always consider a person’s purpose, priorities, and their worldview. Even when there are disagreements, it is best to disagree without being disagreeable. Sometimes, however, compromise is not an option.
The Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Exception
In Daniel, 3:4-6 the king over the peoples, languages and nations was Nebuchadnezzar. He gave a command that everyone had to obey. He also made a promise for those who chose not to obey the command. There could be no compromise. Obey and live or disobey and face execution in a furnace.
The Delightful Tattletales
Some Chaldeans were jealous of the success of the three Jewish exiles. So they told the king that his three appointed officials were not paying attention to his wonderful degree to worship his false god. Nebuchadnezzar did not like this open rebellion, and “in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought.” He asked them if their lack of compromise regarding religion and worship was true. He suggested that their god would not be able to protect them against his own false god.
I like the response of the three men. In Daniel chapter 3 it says, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.’” Short answer: no compromise. We stand where we stand based on our trust in the one true God. The story ends in the favor of the three men, but at first it doesn’t look like it does. The king becomes furious. He had the furnace heated seven times hotter. The three rebels were thrown into the furnace. But the story didn’t end there.
They don’t burn up. They are not alone in the super-heated furnace. They not only survive but come out of the inferno without a hair singed or even the smell of smoke. The king then changes his tune. “’Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.” Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.” Daniel 3:29-30
How to Identify a Follower of Jesus
“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
Five Minute Friday
This post is part of the weekly Five-Minute Friday link-up.
All scripture passages are from the English Standard Version except as otherwise noted.