“But Peter and John replied, “Do you think God wants us to obey you rather than him? ” – Acts 4:19-20.
Acts chapter 4 includes the story of Peter and John standing before rulers and authorities giving testimony of the work of Christ and His death and resurrection. When Peter and John were thrown in jail for healing a lame man and warned not to speak or teach at all in Jesus’ name, they refused to compromise instead, saying, “we cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard.” They lived according to their beliefs whole-heartedly. The refused to compromise.
We as Christians need to be wary of compromise. Compromising is making concessions or accommodations for someone who does not agree with a set of standards or roles. Although there are some areas in life where compromise is necessary, for example, marriage: there are other areas where compromise is very dangerous and even deadly. James warns the believers about compromise, even when we are trying to be a peacemaker.
A peacemaker is “a person who brings about peace, especially by reconciling adversaries.” Ezekiel 22:30 says, “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.” God needs someone to courageously stand in the gap and be a peacekeeper that restores and reconciles.
We should take whatever initiative is necessary to make peace with others. It may take effort and time, but we should make peace. But that doesn’t mean we will succeed. A peacemaker longs for peace and works for peace, and sacrifices for peace. But Romans 12:18 reminds us that we may not always succeed. Paul says, “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” That is the goal of a peacemaker: Do all you can do.
While we must work toward peace, we must never abandon our allegiance or compromise the truths of God and His word. We must never compromise our convictions. A conviction is a solid, immovable belief based on confidence in God’s Word. It’s being so thoroughly convinced of absolute truth that a person is willing to take a stand for it regardless of the consequences.
Convictions shape not only what we believe but also how we live and even how we die. They define who we are and provide direction with solid straight lines that don’t veer off track to accommodate circumstances or temptations.
- Why do you think the tongue is such an issue?
- What can we do this week to control the tongue?