33 In Faith

No Compromise

Vintage Vineyard Look

I was sitting at a Starbucks last week, waiting for my son to take a test.  I was looking forward to catching up on my favorite blogs in my Google Reader, and chatting with a friend through Facebook Chat.  A young girl, probably in her early 20s, came and sat at the table next to me, then left to get her coffee.  I noticed a nice leather journal and a Bible on the table where she was sitting.  I got excited.  Maybe I would introduce myself to her and we would have a cool conversation about God.  I started to rehearse in my head what I would say to “break the ice”.  But that was short lived.  She was waiting for someone and he came and sat down with her and they chatted.

Because my table was in such close proximity to hers, I couldn’t help but overhear most of their conversation, even though I was trying really hard to concentrate on my blog reading.  They talked about a conference she attended, and he talked about his job.  They talked of church and home groups.  Intermixed with all of this was talk of partying, drinking, a swear word here and there, relationships gone bad.  I was confused.  Wasn’t she a Christian?  Didn’t I just see her bring in her Bible?

She was living a life of compromise.  I do not believe that God brought her there that morning for me to judge her.  However, the Holy Spirit began to speak to my heart about the little compromises that I make in my life and how they keep me from growing and from producing good fruit.

Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.  (Song of Solomon 2:15)

When I read this verse, I think of those small little things that creep into my life with God and stunt my growth.  Bad attitudes.  Poor decisions.   Selfish indulgences.  Momentary pleasures.  Speech that tears down.  Lost tempers.  Impatience.  Laziness.  Complacency. These are just a few of the little foxes that come to attack the vineyard of my heart.  A garden cannot grow as long as these things are attached to the vine.  It is up to me to tend the garden of my heart.  I cannot allow things to enter in that come to kill, steal and destroy what is being cultivated there.

As I sat and listened to their conversation, I asked myself these questions:

Do I represent Christ well in my life?
Do I walk the walk, not just talk the talk?
Do others see me as a friend of God?
Would someone question why I brought a Bible into the room?
Is my speech uplifting others and glorying God?

My heart was moved and grieved.  I am not living a deep, dark secret life that no one knows about.  Those closest to me would tell you I am pretty much an open book.  But it is the awareness my life of compromise that has caused me to stop and taken inventory of my heart.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?  Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  (Romans 6:1-4)

When I accepted Jesus into my life, I became a new creation.  I am to walk in newness of life.  No longer acting upon the sinful desires of my flesh.  I am to be dead to sin.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.  And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  (Romans 6:12-14)

It is by God’s grace that I have the strength to continue walking in freedom, in newness of life, not allowing the little compromises in.  But it’s a choice.

Does what I watch on TV glorify the Lord?
Do I discipline my children in a Godly manner?
Do I treat my husband with honor and respect?
Do I love others well?
Do I allow fear, worry and regret to steal my peace?
…..and the list goes on.

Every day I am faced with situations where I have to chose my reaction or my direction.  Will I choose to stand, by the grace of God, living my life uprightly before Him?  Or will I give in to a momentary pleasure or hasty remark or decision, simply because it’s easier?  It requires no faith, no perseverance, no steadiness of spirit.  Why is it easier to give in to that part of me that is supposed to be dead to sin?  How do I continually keep my heart tender before Him.  Jesus said,

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  (John 15:5)

I was made in the image of Christ.  And the more time I spend with Him, the more I will look like Him.  I do not want to be a Christian who goes to church and does all of the right things, but who’s life is questioned.  I want my life to count for Christ.  I want to produce good fruit.  I don’t just want to simply exist.  I don’t want to be religious.  I desire to be like Christ.  I want to live a life of no compromise.

I thank God for opening my eyes and my heart that morning to the things that come to spoil my vineyard.  I thank Him for keeping my heart in a tender place, where I can hear His voice and respond to His heart.  Most of all, I thank Him for His amazing grace to forgive my misguided steps and decisions and set me on the path to fullness in His presence.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

 

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    ginahyatt
    March 15, 2011 at 8:36 am

    great post. i think you were to pray for that couple 🙂 it is good to take inventory, lots of great stuff 🙂 grace, grace, thank You Jesus for grace 🙂

  • Reply
    Seams Inspired
    March 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Excellent. Amen! :o) Thanks so much for sharing your heart today.

  • Reply
    todrawneargod
    March 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Do I represent Christ well in my life?
    Do I walk the walk, not just talk the talk?
    Do others see me as a friend of God?
    Would someone question why I brought a Bible into the room?
    Is my speech uplifting others and glorying God?

    I have asked these same question myself. Thanks for this post. Like you said, we should never compromise.

    Love your blog. I am following your blog. God bless you…

    http://todrawneargod.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Alita
    March 15, 2011 at 10:59 am

    I have always been envious of people that are reborn into love of Christ. I understand that because I have always known His love that I take it for granted on some days. You live intentionally. It is inspiring. We should never judge; for that is only up to God. People speak words that they don't mean all the time. Only God knows what is in our hearts, souls, and life. However it sounds as if your heart beats strong and true for the Glory of God. That alone is a beacon for others to see and we can all take communion together- brothers and sisters in humanity.

    Thank you for sharing this with me (all of us) It is a wonderful reminder to put Him first.

  • Reply
    Megan
    March 15, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    What a thought provoking post! Thanks for this wonderful reminder!

    Just remember, that if you're trying your best, but just so happen to mess up, Jesus will always offer forgiveness.

    I love how talked about all of the problems, but then at the end, you praised God. That just reminds me to remember to THANK him for things, and not just complain or ask for things, because we truly do have much more to thank him for then we do to complain about.

    Sorry for such a long comment 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa
    March 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    That was such a good post, Barbie! I frequently wonder how I appear to others. Do I reflect the light of Christ? What should I do to better show the love of God in my life? How should I dress? Speak? Spend my time? So many different opinions about what it means to be a follower of Christ. I constantly ask Him what he wants of me.

  • Reply
    Stefanie Brown
    March 15, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    What a fantastic read, Barbie. You are dead on it. Multiple times EVERYDAY we are faced with the choice ~ Will I live completely souled out to Him or will I live seeing how close to the line I can live (with an occasional and purposeful crossover).

    Thank you being aware and being sensitive to Him.

  • Reply
    Child of God
    March 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Very deep!
    I find where I stumble most often is with my family, well my son in particular. We clash and then after he has mouthed off at me I tend to retort and then repent. 🙁 It is a minute by minute challenge that God has given me and I find I most often stumble and fall rather than do what He tells me to do.

    The verses that come to my mind often and I guess I could consider it my life verse is 2 Corinthians 4:6-18
    6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

    7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

    13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

    16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    Thanks for sharing this Barbie. I think I need to spend sometime with God searching His heart. Please keep me in your prayers.

    <><

  • Reply
    charis
    March 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    i have been thinking as well about the witness of my life. i have been thinking about what it means to be righteous. what does it mean to have whole-hearted love? many times i have wanted to claim i have this, but i have so far to go. we need His grace every day to choose Him and His kingdom above our own fleeting desires.

  • Reply
    NanaNor's
    March 15, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Hi Barbie, What a deep thought inspiring post today-makes me take a second look at my own heart and life. Often it is so easy to look at others and see how they fall short but I should first look at the plank in my own eye.
    Thank you for sharing today.
    Hugs, Noreen

  • Reply
    Summer
    March 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Barbie,
    What a great post! You touched on so many subjects that are so true! I found myself as I was reading this post questioning myself and my relationship with the LORD…if I brought my BIBLE in would I be walking the walk and talking the talk…I sure hope so…I do not curse, maybe very very very rarely but I do not, I have to experienced a situation where a couple who claim to be full Christians talk the talk but they party, and curse, and our not nice to people and it saddens me but I try not to let myself judge it…it is hard not to like you said but I just try to focus on me and my relationship and my families relationship with the LORD. I know it can always be stronger and for that I am always working on…Im not perfect…

    Love this post

    xoxo
    Sums

  • Reply
    Rachel
    March 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    EXCELLENT EXCELLENT EXCELLENT POST!

    Thank you, Barbie, for leading me back to the truth and looking at my life.

    Rachel

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    March 15, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Translation for me is my kids see and hear {also mirror} everything I do. I think that's God's way of saying i've got my eye on you through your kids. It totally keeps me working on my walk with God. I don't want to be their reason for stumbling. I laugh when I heard the story of Joyce Meyer leading a bible study while smoking her cigs b/c that was basically me when I was young. Older and more humble I totally think compromise is not an option. More Lord!

  • Reply
    Wander
    March 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Me too Barbie! I thank Him that he reminds me in little & big ways that I'm far from perfect…but to keep my eyes on the ONE WHO IS!

    I just vented to a friend about a situation my HS daughter's experienced today with a Christian leader (who doesn't always act like one)!
    Both that circumstance and your story helped me put into perspective MY OWN SHORTCOMINGS and who may be watching them.
    Thanks!

  • Reply
    Me
    March 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    very good post today. It makes you think, really think about how you live and breath and represent your life. What does my life actions say to those who are looking. To even those who are seeing me for the first time, in starbucks as I get my morning coffee. What do I say to them? Thanks for making me think.

  • Reply
    Samantha
    March 16, 2011 at 12:32 am

    Amen!!! And it's amazing how just a little compromise leads to a little more and a little more until you are eventually a person you no longer recognize.

  • Reply
    Laura The Artist
    March 16, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Wow, I feel convicted myself. What a tremendous revelation for this day – I am going to stop and take inventory myself. Barbie, truly inspirational…really!

  • Reply
    Bina
    March 16, 2011 at 3:05 am

    "Would someone question why I brought a Bible into the room?"

    …ouch…

    …but thank you!!…

    Great post, as always!
    Bina

  • Reply
    Angie
    March 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Great thoughts that applied to right where I am today.

    Today is my birthday which always makes me reflective. How have I grown in Christ? Am I serving His purpose? I watched a Bible study video of Beth Moore this morning and she shared Luke 13:13. Jesus heals a woman, but she had to accept that healing and stand up, which she did followed by praising God. I sometimes think I'm waiting for God to do all the work, but He's asking for me to do my part. I've been so inconsistent, but He is teaching me. I want His healing and purpose to be evident in my life, but, like you said, we have to tend the vine. Great questions. I think I have a tv show I've got to give up. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Adoption Mama
    March 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    The world is watching and we must be salt and light. I frequently tell this to my children: "You help my light to shine by obedience and respect." Thank you for this challenging post.

  • Reply
    Deb
    March 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I'm discovering that wimping out is a compromise too.

    But I want to walk in faith and in the light.

    Always with Him.

    Sweet dreams.

  • Reply
    Janette@Janette's Sage
    March 17, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Well I am sure I can not add any more to what has been said above,so I say a strong "Amen" and thanks for this convicting post. I do believe God allows these times (over hearing conversations, or conversations said to us) to teach us just like the stories we read in His word…it is for our growth.
    Thanks for the reminder to not compromise.

  • Reply
    Lea also known as "CiCi"
    March 17, 2011 at 2:07 am

    WOW Barbie, looks like you "hit a nerve" with a lot of folks! You have a beautiful way with words and are such a blessing! Thanks for pricking my heart this evening!

  • Reply
    Lea also known as "CiCi"
    March 17, 2011 at 2:07 am

    WOW Barbie, looks like you "hit a nerve" with a lot of folks! You have a beautiful way with words and are such a blessing! Thanks for pricking my heart this evening!

  • Reply
    Lea also known as "CiCi"
    March 17, 2011 at 2:07 am

    WOW Barbie, looks like you "hit a nerve" with a lot of folks! You have a beautiful way with words and are such a blessing! Thanks for pricking my heart this evening!

  • Reply
    Joan Davis
    March 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Wow. Awesome post — and very convicting! It is easy to forget that people are watching. We need to remember as Christians to reflect His light. We might be the only example of a Christ follower that those seeing us have ever known. Let's make that example count for the good. As I go through my day today, I am going to be consciously aware of how I may be perceived. Thank you for the reminder to always show His love and not to compromise our faith.

    Living for Him, Joan

  • Reply
    myletterstoemily
    March 18, 2011 at 1:42 am

    sometimes it is a situation like that to make
    us evaluate our own lives. where have i
    compromised and let part of me live apart
    from Him?

    that is a dangerous place to live, and i pray
    that sweet young couple will soon be drawn
    deeper into Him.

  • Reply
    TK
    March 18, 2011 at 6:14 am

    thankyou Barbie…..so important to do all I can to live for Christ!!! TK xx

  • Reply
    Tamara
    March 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Thank you so much for the kind comment. Sometimes I feel all alone out here in blog land but I believe that He is using it, in a way, to heal my heart.

  • Reply
    Courtney B
    March 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Very eye opening! Thank you for posting!!
    I'm definitely going to make more of a concsious effort to be more Christ-like in all of actions!

  • Reply
    Deirdra Eden-Coppel
    March 21, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Inspiring Blog Award.

    Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.
    ~Deirdra

  • Reply
    Cole
    March 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    love this Barbie! Not just believing, but actually following! So many miss it. Thanks for this encouraging post.

  • Reply
    Dena E's Blog
    March 26, 2011 at 3:50 am

    Wow this was/is AWESOME Sis… Its exactly what has happened with my Hubb's and i during some of our business trips.. I just end up feeling somehow let down.. Then I kick myself, and Kent and I end up praying quietly right then and there for those we see or hear that are in need. There was a couple in a market a time back that were just being loud and cussing at each other as they shopped, just being very crude to each other… It was sad…So we prayed..
    I am so upset when it seems compromise would be easier,,,but that just gets me wanting to stand up and walk the walk even better… I wasted enough years of compromising already…We need to always be aware of who may be watching and KNOW that Jesus ALWAYS is…You know,, would I being doing this if Jesus was right here… Wait a sec. He is….
    Praising Him for just that!!!
    More Hugs Sweetie…

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