I remember growing up on the islands as an artistic child. Everyone else aspired to be a lawyer, accountant or a doctor and I was just a little artistic kid singing, dancing and painting. But then you grow older and the pressures of the world start to get to you. All of the sudden I wanted to trade my artistic passion for a desk job, because at the time and as a teen, that’s what I thought was required of me. Besides, how are you supposed to earn a living from the arts?
Now, more than ever, I am so grateful to my parents. From a very young age, they invested in my gifts, they saw the potential in me and calling on my life. They didn’t spare any resources when it came to my artistic development. My parents, unlike the rest of the world, never expected me to compromise on my dreams or calling just for comfort or temporary pleasures. They believed that my gift would make room for me.
Unfortunately, not all of us have had this kind of luck. I know plenty of people who didn’t even know that pursuing their passion or purpose was an option, plenty who were told that they could possibly never live from their gift. This discouragement has often times been presented to us as a loving concern, but as I grow older I start to realise that it’s nothing more than fear masked as love. Although my parents were nothing but encouraging, I do remember the noise of others around me who were “concerned”. They were concerned about what a future as a singer could mean for me. No! I wasn't willing to compromise.
We can define compromise in this sense as accepting just a little bellow what we know is right. Everyone is doing it, so what's the harm? James 4:17 tells us: "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." Sin means to miss the mark of what God intended for you and I wasn’t going to miss to mark and compromise on my calling just to soothe the worry of those around me. This was who God was calling me to be and believe me when I say that the worst kind of compromise you can make, is a compromise on your identity.
Although quite young at the time, I was strong in my faith. I knew God was calling me elsewhere; He had a plan and a purpose that was going to push me outside of my comfort zone. God was going to break the mold and I was unwilling to compromise on what God was doing in my life, despite of how that would look to others. Was it an easy road? No, It was quite bumpy and that’s me putting it lightly. Do not let fear masked as love cause you to compromise on the will of God for your life.
So before you choose to make a decision that could ultimately cause you to compromise on the will of God, your identity or your growth process, ask yourself these questions:
1. What is my decision based on?
We spend too much time making decisions out of fear. We don't start our own business because we're afraid of failing. We don't commit to a relationship, because we're afraid of ending up like our parents. We don't choose to wholeheartedly share our faith or passion, because we're afraid of what other might think.
2. Does it require me to place trust in God?
Other times we may find ourself compromising, because we don't really trust God as much as we think. We stay in an unhealthy relationship, because we don't trust that God has someone better in store for us. We settle for a job we don't enjoy, because we don't trust God enough to provide a job we are passionate about. Or because we don't believe God's word or promises.
3. Will this grow me?
Sometimes we make a decision that seems great now, because it gives us instant gratification or because it will speed up the process, but short cuts or false bargains rarely cause us to grow and become more mature. We want to avoid the pain of growth because it makes us vulnerable and uncomfortable.