Years ago, I did a project in San Bernardino, California where I learned the world was not asymmetrical. It was a massive project, so I spent six months living bi-coastal – well, coastal and corn. Anyway, the company that was the buyer hired a consulting company to make sure my employer did everything the client expected from this.
At one point in the project, I had a very different perspective than the auditing consultant. We went into an empty office, closed the door, and I prepared to show the consultant the section in the contract that validated my perspective. Instead, the consultant stopped me and said, “I know the contract, I know the company you work for, and I know my client. The client is the big dog. This world is not symmetrical.” That was the end of the discussion. I was right, but the client was still going to get what they wanted.
I learned a lot from that conversation. And, I’ve reminded my kids many times that this world is not symmetrical. We rarely get as much as we give. And, when wrestling with a “big dog,” there will be times when you have to let go.
When it comes to Jesus, there can be no compromise
When it comes to Jesus, there can be no compromise. However, there’s a broad range of issues that we can damage the advancement of Christ’s Gospel if we dig our heals in. Here are a couple of examples:
2 Timothy 2:14 (ESV), “Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.”
Acts 15:19-20 (ESV), “Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. “
Acts 16:1-3 (ESV), “Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”
Timothy, a Christian of good reputation, was known by the Jews. Paul intended to preach in synagogs on his upcoming missionary trip so he had Timothy circumcised even though Paul could have argued that Timothy only needed to be obedient to the things listed in Acts 15. We could dig deeper and compare Timothy with Titus (Galatians 2:1) but that’s a lesson for another time.
Not Everything is Beneficial
1 Corinthians 10:23-24, says, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
Here’s the bottom line: this world is not symmetrical. There are times when the right thing to do is give up our rights, so we are not hindered from proclaiming salvation through Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God.
The Gospel comes before our rights. Compromise Truth; never! Go to the back of the line when we are next in line? Sure, why not? The time I have belongs to God. If he wants to promote me, great, if not, I’ll catch up on some emails while I wait.