Loving Without Compramise


We’ve all got a choice to make, and in not choosing you’re still choosing.

We’ve all got a purpose, a calling to heed. If we think God needs us we’re wrong, but He wants us. Oh does He want us!

There is always this thing we’re trying to do that I’m convinced drives God batty. Compromise.

No matter how you spin it; God detests it. Just look at Jehoshaphat.

Jehoshaphat had to choose what his relationship with evil King Ahab would be. And we’ve all got to choose what our relationship with the world will be.

Like a lot of Christians, Jehoshaphat chose compromise. We can say what we want, but it boils down to being easier. Living a life all in, can leave you feeling left out.

Maybe his motive was political or maybe social. Maybe he justified it as a righteous thing to restore Israel. Maybe he even hoped to reunite Israel and Judah.

We commonly sacrifice truth and righteousness for the sake of being “socially appropriate”.

Whatever his or our justification for the choice of compromise, it doesn’t fly with God.

It doesn’t appear that this relationship between righteous Jehoshaphat and evil Ahab developed overnight. No, it was one compromise after another. Let’s be friends. How about my daughter marry your son? Come to dinner. Next thing you know this social call has him in front of 400 false prophets who are telling him to go to war with the evil King.

Sure. Jehoshaphat asks to see a real prophet of the Lord, but he doesn’t listen to him, and goes on to war battling for the evil kings cause.

This left Jehoshaphat in a very dangerous situation. I can think of times in my life like that. Maybe not literally surrounded by false prophets, but I’ve found myself way out of the will of God, far from the calling on my life, and wondered how I ever got this far.

If the idea of marrying his child into King Ahab and evil Queen Jezebel’s family didn’t give him pause I’d say being encircled by an army with bows drawn who had mistaken him for the evil King would.

31 As soon as the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; God drew them away from him. 32 For as soon as the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 2 Chronicles 18:31-32

We can serve God narrowly. We can mostly obey, usually listen, generally do Gods will. The narrow sliver that you reserved may be the narrow escape with your life. It was for Jehosaphat. Who wants a narrow kinda life?

Before we get to thinking being a Christian is opressive. Let’s recall the beginning of the story:

Therefore the LORD established the kingdom in his hand. And all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. His heart was courageous in the ways of the LORD. And furthermore, he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah. 2 Chronicles 17:5-6

This isn’t just an Old Testament story that is now made void by Jesus and his teachings of love and acceptance. Lets jump forward. WAYYY forward; to the last book of the Bible. The end of the story. The final say:

20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. Revelation 2:20

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I am so busy trying to contradict the belief that Christians are hateful and intolerant, trying to be “socially appropriate”, that I have compromised. We can not be hateful, but we must not compromise truth and righteousness. It’s a slow fade.

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Guilt By Association


I thought she was a righteous woman. Never mind that I ignored the prompting of the spirit and the pleading of my bored child to hightail it outa there. How could anyone say these things let alone someone I felt an understudy to. I knew what was being said wasn’t kind and I had hoped to sway her to love and compassion. I never intended to get caught up in the heinous crime. I wasn’t even aware that I was guilty by association until I was told to , “not talk so loud!” And if it ain’t about you, and it ain’t about me, and nobody’s having a surprise party… It’s gossip. CRUD! The slippery ugly sin of gossip. BUT— I was trying to speak kind words in her defense. BUT— I myself did NOT say ANYTHING ugly. BUT— I still feel like I did, and I still stayed when God said go. I still laughed at the ugly to fit in. If gossip is murder and the Bible says it is; then I was guilty by association. My heart hurts; partly because she pointed out the singularly most painfully discomfited part of me–my voice. The other part–I’m smack dab in the middle of gossip. The ugly murderous kind that’s in the Bible. I held the tears back until I got to the car, and even then made it a good way home before Josh ask me what was wrong and I outed the whole ugly story between sobs. Particularly broken by how this woman I had admired so much had not just disappointed me but had embarrassed me in an area I had been vulnerable in confiding to her about. The next morning I cracked my Bible. My eyes moved across the words but that was the extent of it. Desperate for peace I took my Bible to the bath (When I am sad I clean; the house, my body. It doesn’t matter I clean it.). I knew Ezekiel was a bust that morning. I needed lighter reading. So it was David. You know how David loved Saul even though Saul hurt him and even attempted to kill him over and over and over? Why on earth would he do that? I mean Saul’s a nut, a bad egg, a hot head. David, you know he can’t be trusted?! All I know is David kept saying Saul was chosen and anointed King by God and that was enough for him. So I pick up my book, and wouldn’t you know Max Lucado cleared it up. Max told of how he had left his dog at a kennel and another dog had managed to get in with his dog nearly killing her. Max wrote a letter to the other dog’s owner suggesting the violent dog be put down. Max took the letter to the kennel and the owner of the kennel said, “I ask you to reconsider. What that dog did was unthinkable, but I’m training him and I’m not done with him yet.” Max explained that sometimes people do unthinkable things, but God isn’t done with them yet. Is Gods forgiveness only big enough to cover my part in the crime? Does this mean this woman is not the righteous, anointed, mentor-worthy woman she was a week ago? David was hurt, scared, lonely: BUT— He knew that Saul was still special, chosen, anointed. I was embarrassed, ashamed, disappointed: BUT— I know God’s no more done with her than HE is with me. guilt by association

How Long


I believe in sharing the raw and ugly. I believe doing so is the only way to find purpose for our pain, and finding a reason for your hurt is the best salve for the wounds. David said, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long…” When I read that I felt like he took the words right out of my heart.

I am grateful to have received a beautiful text from a beautiful soul. Susie Sidebottom embraced the vulnerable and exposed the raw and ugly. I pray it was soothing to the wounds.

You can imagine my joy when she agreed to write a guest post. It was a testimony that stirred my heart. I had a feeling it would yours too.

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This week, while doing my studies of the Psalms, I was consistently drawn to the thirteenth Psalm. In this Psalm, David was praying for relief from despair. Within the first two verses, David asked “How long?” four times.

“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” ​​​​​​​Psalm 13:1-2 ESV

Ten years of marriage to my soul-mate, and I can promise you that I have asked “How Long” more than just four times. How long until we have a baby? How long do I have to work a job where I am unappreciated? How long until I am the number one priority? How long until we aren’t in a financial upheaval? How long are we going to be just the two of us? How long will this pregnancy last? How long will this test or trial last? How long until God finds and shows favor in me? These are just a few examples of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times that I have asked “How Long?”. Confession – the last of my thoughts are thanking God and rejoicing in Him and his salvation at those moments when I am asking that question. In reading the thirteenth Psalm, that is exactly what David did at the end of that prayer.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”​​​​​​​Psalm 13: 5-6 ESV

I can say that in the last couple of years I have been able to find greater peace because I have been able to let go and let God. These last two years, I have been trying to focus more on being thankful for everything that God has afforded me. Admittedly, David made me chuckle with the sixth verse, because it is inherently true. God has dealt bountifully with me.

God knows exactly the right timing for everything in our lives. He is the master designer of our stories. Looking back on my life, and the trials within, I can understand the answer to some of my “How long?” questions. God answered by showing me that He has the perfect plan and that His timing is impeccable.

It was easy to find great solace in reading this Psalm, because the great King David felt the way that I do and have in the past. David sets an excellent example and reminder that it is okay to ask of our God “How Long?”, but we also need to remember that He is the great provider, and we need to be thankful for everything that He has already done for us. Remember, He has dealt bountifully with us. That is quite a job on most days.image