When the pressure comes on, and we are tested in life, one thing we are tempted to compromise upon is our values. In anxiousness we consider it more favourable to not be so insistent. But when it’s a question of values—real good virtuous values—we tread the tight rope of personal treason when we make certain concessions.
When we know our values and we are wise enough to hold to them, whilst adapting as much as we should to our situations, we are blessed in the long-term, despite the pain in the short-term.
Like the buddy who recently told me how he had been asked to join a company that he found out didn’t live up to its values—values my friend could align to. Sensing their inauthentic manner he decided to deliberate and do some more research. It was a good offer on the table. But he had an awkward feeling in his gut. When it was confirmed in his mind that this company broke its own rules he decided to politely reject the offer. Financially he was worse off. But his integrity remained intact.
Sometimes short-term comfort provides long-term problems.
Never Compromising on Values
It may seem inflexible to say, and even somewhat stubborn, but something we ought to never compromise on is our values—our Christian values of things like honesty, respect, kindness, grace, diligence, and patience.
Values are like the fruit of the Spirit, but we are to feed on them as much as we are to demonstrate them. We feed on peace to live more peacefully. We nurture joy in our hearts so we will experience more joy. As we practice patience it begins to work in our lives.
What we install in our hearts will inevitably spill over into our lives. Scriptures like Matthew 12:34 and Proverbs 4:23 highlight the fact that our hearts are the wellspring of life. If we invest in values that please God, seeking them to be seated deeply within us, God will bless us by the acquisition of them. Then it would be pointless to compromise on these values.
The Effect of Compromising on Values
Do we compromise or not compromise? That is often the question that runs unconsciously within us.
The effect of compromising on values is insidious and vast. If we compromise on such an important thing as our values we will end up in all sorts of inner conflict, whether we deny it or not. This is how anxiety gets free reign. Inner conflict, because our values have been betrayed, proves destructive. Mental ill-health can result.
Once we are open to compromise on values we will be open again; the floodgates of our hearts are ajar. If we have compromised once, it won’t be the last time. We always promise “just this once!” But it’s amazing how capricious we are when we drop our guard.
The effect of holding to our values may prove difficult in the short-term, but it proffers us peace and protects our integrity for the longer term.
Holding to our values of virtue is one of the secrets of the abundant life. Where we may be blessed to compromise relationally, we are cursed to compromise on our godly values. A merciful, just, and humble heart is a happy heart, complete in integrity.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.