My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Cor. 12:9
Marriage is an institution where no one gets everything they want, and everyone becomes more than they are. Doe-eyed lovers don’t believe any part of that statement because they think everything is perfect already. At the other extreme, long embittered partners would rather sleep on the couch than give up the last scoop of Oreo ice cream. Deep, abiding relationships of all kinds take faith in something greater than human love and a supernatural commitment to overcome our natural selfishness. They take practice in the beautiful art of compromise.
Self-made steel magnate Andrew Carnegie once said, “Compromise is usually a sign of weakness, or an admission of defeat.” How can weakness be an art? How can defeat appear beautiful? If everything you want in life can only be gotten by your own strength, then weakness has no place in happiness. If your highest calling is to achieve your ‘human rights’ to freedom and pleasure, then read no further. But if you believe you were created to follow in the footsteps of a Savior who gave up every privilege to secure your eternal joy, then know without doubt that your path leads through concession and surrender.
When you choose to follow Jesus, you have entered a kingdom of the ridiculous. Strength is now weakness, and weakness is strength. When you protect your own rights against the well-being of those around you, you have thrown away an opportunity for God’s grace – grace in your life and theirs. When you give up something which would have made you happy in order to love another person well, you have become more like Christ. By the world’s standards you have become weaker. You have also become more beautiful.
I’m turning on “Comments” for this post because I would love to know your story of compromise and how it shaped you.