Compromise

Brownies

BrowniesAfter you read this you will have a better understanding of what
it means to compromise.  

Some years ago when I was a pastor, I walked into my church
office after a Sunday morning service to find a sandwich bag on my desk
containing three chocolate brownies. Some thoughtful and anonymous saint who
knew my love for chocolate had placed them there, along with a piece of paper
that had a short story written on it. I immediately sat down and began eating
the first brownie as I read the following story:  

Two teenagers asked their father if they could go the theater to
watch a movie that all their friends had seen. After reading some reviews about
the movie on the internet, he denied their request.

‘Aw dad, why not?’ they complained. ‘It’s rated PG-13, and we’re
both older than thirteen!’

Dad replied: ‘Because that movie contains nudity and portrays
immorality, which is something that God hates, as being normal and acceptable
behavior.’

‘But dad, those are just very small parts of the movie! That’s
what our friends who’ve seen it ave told us. The movie is two hours long and those
scenes are just a few minutes of the total film! It’s based on a true story,
and good triumphs over evil, and there are other redeeming themes like courage
and self-sacrifice. Even the Christian movie review websites say that!’

‘My answer is ‘no,’ and that is my final answer. You are welcome
to stay home tonight, invite some of your friends over, and watch one of the
good videos we have in our home collection. But you will not go and watch that
film. End of discussion.’

The two teenagers walked dejectedly into the family room and
slumped down on the couch.

As they sulked, they were surprised to hear the sounds of their
father preparing some-thing in the kitchen. They soon recognized the wonderful
aroma of brownies baking in the oven, and one of the teenagers said to the
other, ‘Dad must be feeling guilty, and now he’s going to try to make it up to
us with some fresh brownies. Maybe we can soften him with lots of praise when
he brings themout to us and persuade him to let us go to that movie after all.’

About that time I began eating the second brownie from the
sandwich bag and wondered if there was some connection to the brownies I was
eating and the brownies in the story. I kept reading…

The teens were not disappointed. Soon their father appeared with
a plate of warm brownies which he offered to his kids. They each took one. Then
their father said, ‘Before you eat, I want to tell you something: I love you
both so much.’

The teenagers smiled at each other with knowing glances. Dad was
softening. ‘That is why I’ve made these brownies with the very best
ingredients. I’ve made them from scratch.

Most of the ingredients are even organic. The best organic
flour. The best free-range eggs. The best organic sugar. Premium vanilla and
chocolate.’ The brownies looked mouth-watering, and the teens began to become a
little impatient with their dad’s long speech.  

‘But I want to be perectly honest with you. There is one
ingredient I added that is not usually found in brownies. I got that ingredient
from our own back yard. But you needn’t worry, because I only added the tiniest
bit of that ingredient to your brownies. The amount of the portion is
practically insignificant. So go ahead, take a bite and let me know what you
think.’ ‘Dad, would you mind telling us what that mystery ingredient is before
we eat?’ ‘Why? The portion I added was so small. Just a teaspoonful. You won’t even
taste it.’ ‘Come on, dad, just tell us what that ingredient is.’ ‘Don’t worry!
It is organic, just like the other ingredients.’ ‘Dad!’ ‘Well, OK, if you
insist. That secret ingredient is organic…dog poop.’

I immediately stopped chewing that second brownie and I spit it
out into the waste basket by my desk I continued reading, now fearful of the
paragraphs that still remained.

Both teens instantly dropped their brownies back on the plate
and began inspecting their fingers with horror. ‘DAD!Why did you do that?
You’ve tortured us by making us smell those brownies cooking for the last half
hour, and now you tell us that you added dog poop! We can’t eat these
brownies!’ ‘Why not? The amount of dog poop is very small compared to the rest
of the ingredients. It won’t hurt you. It’s been cooked right along with the
other ingredients. You won’t even taste it. It has the same consistency as the
brownies. Go ahead and eat!’ ‘No, Dad…NEVER!’  

‘And that is the same reason I won’t allow you to go watch that
movie. You won’t tolerate a little dog poop in your brownies, so why should you
tolerate a little immorality in your movies? We pray that God will not lead us
unto temptation, so how can we in good conscience entertain ourselves with
something that will imprint a sinful image in our minds that will lead us into
temptation long after we first see it?’

I discarded what remained of the second brownie as well as the
entire untouched third brownie. What had been irresistible a minute ao had
become detestable. And only because of the very slim chance that what I was
eating was slightly polluted.

(Surely it wasn’t…but I couldn’t convince myself.)

What a good lesson about purity! Why do we tolerate any sin? On
the day of the  Passover, the Israelites
were commanded to remove every bit of leaven from their homes. Sin is like
leaven – a little bit leavens the whole lump (1 Cor. 5:6).

Jesus, ‘our Passover’ (1 Cor. 5:7), and sin, don’t mix.  

‘Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if
you are not willing to move your feet.’

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