A little bit of revelation hit today. In my pensions life I’ve been speaking to a colleague about the compromise that one of our clients has to make in choosing a third party administrator. The client has to settle for less in areas that matter less in order to gain more in others that matter more.
Compromise with God is not the same, but too often I try to do it the same way. As I contemplated this at lunchtime today, it gave me a new insight into why David said to God “against you, and you alone have I sinned” in Psalm 51. You see, David loved God more than anyone else, and knew that he’d failed God first. Yes, Bathsheba, Uriah and Zadok were all hurt dreadfully, but God mattered to David, and David knew his sin mattered to God.
So when I say about something that I do (such as genuinely lusting after the latest carbon Pinarello): “it doesn’t really matter to God that I do this -it’s not hurting anyone, and there’s more important things to be worrying about”, I am deeply wrong, and it betrays all sorts of flaws:
- It shows that I think and act as if God’s plan for my life doesn’t matter
- It shows that my priorities are higher than God’s are in my life
- It shows that I’m slapdash with his Word, even though He lovingly crafted it for me and others in order to tell us about himself.
It rightly pulls me up to look at my motivation. It rightly tells me that when God says something in his Word, I don’t have the right to compromise on it. But there’s an extraordinary joy in recognising all of this: how can God, against whom I wrong so often, and so obviously show him that I matter more than He does, still bring me so much care, joy and providence? I don’t know why God does this for me, but He does, and I am so very thankful.