Although compromise sounds like a good and cooperative thing to do, when you compromise who you are in order to keep the peace, you destroy a little bit of yourself each time you give into something you do not believe in.
I have compromised myself more than once in order to feel something. To feel anything… I don’t like feeling sad, hurt or alone. And the three combined are extremely overwhelming.
In the past year, I have gone through so many emotions that I cannot even list them all. I am fortunate to have a positive support group. I cannot recall the endless conversations in person or via phone I have had to just express how I feel. And it helps. It helps to know that I am not alone in what I am feeling.
There are times when I feel that I am on top of the world and I can do anything. I tell myself, “You are truly okay. You can move on from this now.” And then I hear a song on the radio that triggers something from the past that I was so desperately trying to let go of. And all of sudden, I am back at square one.
And although I know that the supportive people are there and will listen to me. I don’t always go to them. Instead I go back in time in my mind and think about what I could have done different or what I did to make it all go wrong. This in turn, turns into intense anxiety. I feel myself suffocating in it. I can’t catch my breath.
My logical mind tells me that I am overreacting. It tells me that I need to move on. But my emotional mind is pushing away all logic.
All of a sudden, it seems that I get the support I need. They say that hindsight is 20/20. That is very true. Because that support that I thought I needed is coming from snakes. As much as I fantasize about the prince and the damsel in distress scene, this is not it.
Instead it is me, compromising myself in order to feel. To feel anything at all… And although I do get temporary gratification, I pay a big price for it. I give up a piece of me each time I fall into the trap of compromise. I am negotiating who I am as a person in order to feel. Why do I keep doing this to myself?
I have been told that the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over again and expecting a different result. So I ask myself again, “Why do you keep doing this to yourself?” My doleful answer goes something like this, “I was sad. I was feeling numb. I thought that feeling something was better than feeling nothing.”
Gandhi once stated, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” When I think about, I cannot recall how many people I have allowed to contaminate my mind.
I, as I am sure you have, heard, that life is too short, no matter how long you live. I have come to the point where I am recognizing how tired I am of being sick and tired. I have begun to take steps in order to truly live my life. If I look back at my life, I have been in survival mode for the majority of it. I have made a commitment to not just merely survive, but to thrive at this life.
I am a Christian. I have not always been a Christian. Nor have I always lived my life as a Christian. But I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ and I am a Christian. I am ashamed to say that I have not always been straightforward about my faith. I have lived the majority of my life being a people pleaser.
If I felt or knew that anything about me would offend somebody, I would stay quiet. I would make myself, along with my beliefs and who I am as a person as invisible as possible, so not to offend anyone around me. In a parable, Jesus stated, “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” Until recently, my lamp was under a basket, in an effort not to offend anyone and keep the peace.
Although I knew the truth all along, I took the long way to start applying it to my life. For so long I feared the disapproval of those around me. Then I was reminded in a reading in Luke 12 when Jesus stated, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: fear Him who, after your body has been killed, has the authority to throw you in hell. Yes I tell you, fear Him.” Even though I have known that verse my whole life, I didn’t take it seriously. In reading that verse it makes all these things that I have labeled as problems, seem foolish.
We now live in a world where anything you say can be taken as discriminatory. People around you will twist your words or your meaning into something that will fit their agenda into turning you into a racist, homophobe, sexist, etc. We live in a world where you must be politically correct so as not to offend anyone.
And now I am sad to say that my belief in Christ and His teachings have also put people on the defense. At many points in my life, I have been fearful to proclaim my faith, so as not to offend anyone.
I am no longer striving to be politically correct. Instead I am striving to be Christ-correct. I know that I will continue to struggle in this life. Jesus told us that we would have trouble in this life. But He also told us that if we give Him our lives wholly, He will be with us.
Trying to gain the approval of this world is exhausting and futile. The question, “If you were to die today, what would happen to you?” was brought up in a sermon I listened to recently. I thank God that I was able to answer that I would go to heaven. But the scary truth is, if I was asked that question even a month ago, I would not know where I would go, as I was living my life carelessly and not as a Christian.
In order to live my life according to God’s will, I have made changes. I found that if you truly want to follow God, there has to be changes in your lifestyle, otherwise, you will do as I have done, repent and backslide into your same ol’ lifestyle… Business as usual… I did not want to go back to business as usual, so I bought a Bible and have been reading it daily. I take it with me everywhere I go. When the feelings of anxiety arise, I open it. I go to church. It is important to be in fellowship with other Christians. I have been honest with Christians who are close to me about what I struggle with and have asked them to hold me accountable.
I can honestly say that the steps I have taken so far have helped. It is different from any other time I have repented. I know better.
I began this writing talking about compromise. Are you compromising who you are in order to appease this world? If you are not exhausted from all the compromises you have made, I promise you, you will be. In this writing, I am boldly going to remove my lamp from underneath the basket and place it on a lampstand and urge you to surrender your life to Jesus. Do not waste your life trying to get the approval of those in this world. This world is not going to be forever. Your soul is on the line. Jesus said that He will give you rest in Him.
Take it from someone who has tried many other paths… They lead to destruction.
Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with me.”
Will you open the door to your heart to Jesus?
Originally published at medium.com