John C. Maxwell, one of the well-known leadership instructors in America, comments on page 1034 of The Maxwell Leadership Bible saying, “1. Weigh out the options in front of you. 2. Ask if those choices force you to compromise personal values. 3. Seek wise counsel. 4. Count the cost. 5. Decide based on principles. 6. Act on your decision swiftly and firmly.”
In light of Maxwell’s points, I believe that for anyone in position of leadership, compromise is one thing that is inevitable, therefore it is good to examine some compromises that are not expected or profitable in good leadership which I will refer to as “forbidden compromises.”
First we must understand that leadership is the ability to effectively exercise power and influence in order to reach expected goals (at least this is how I understand the word).
Using the story of Daniel chapter 6 as a case in study, I believe one would be able to make good judgments between forbidden and permitted compromises if Daniel’s example is followed.
For our purpose here, I will define “forbidden compromise” as any move, action, settlement or agreement that undermines godly instructions (which ought to form the basis of one’s leadership principles).
It is amazing how those who sought forbidden compromise were also leaders in the Daniel saga; they were fellow governors and satraps, but we learn that not all leaders will forego principles, obedience and fear of God.
As a minister / leader, one of the most scary bible scripture to me is the book of Ezekiel 34:1-10. Speaking forbidden compromise, this is it in the classical – for ministers.
In Daniel 6:1-9 we notice:
Negligence – It is recorded in verse 4 that fellow leaders could not find Daniel guilty or faulty of negligence (dereliction of duty), otherwise it would have been easy to catch him or write him up. Ministers who neglect their duties of giving themselves to the WORD ( 2 Tim. 2:15 NLT), visiting, caring for members serving God’s sheep (as required in Ezek. 34), and giving substantial time for praying (1 Thess. 5:17), are living in a “forbidden compromise” realm with the devil and this will soon bring a sting if no change is made.
King Saul is an example of a leader who handled the commandment of God with levity by offering an unauthorized (unlawful) sacrifice; he suffered greatly for it – 1 Sam. 13:11-15.
Corruption: It is stated in verse 4 that this ungodly and destructive character was not found in Daniel’s leadership. Who knows how many times his fellow leaders (ministers) had lured him into corruption and he refused. Whenever a leader (minister) agrees with others to cheat the system, it is forbidden compromise. All those corrupt-minded leaders ended up being destroyed by lions, instead of Daniel (Daniel 6:24).
Ahab was a corrupt king who preferred lies over the truth (2 Kings 22:1-19); he was killed at battle (2 Kings 22:29-40).
Conspiracy: In verse 4 we see some leaders (other governors and satraps) compromising to set up and put in trouble (conspire against) another leader (Daniel). Whenever your colleagues entice you to undercut another leader, please note that it is an advice from the pit of hell; do not join them. Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;” ESV
Any move that compromises one’s principles that is firmly rooted in God’s words: Verse 10 shows that Daniel would not succumb to the pressure of not praying to his God, otherwise it would have been a forbidden move for him. In verse 10, he went ahead to continue his prayer.
Same was in the case of the Rechabites who were presented with bowls of full wine to drink, but they remembered the instruction not to drink wine; they refused to compromise (saying, “we will not drink…” Jer. 35:6 KJV) even though it was offered by a prophet of God and God rewarded their stand saying, “therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always.” – Jer. 35:19 NASB
In Daniel’s case he would not bend on the principle of “pray without ceasing” just because other fellow leaders wanted him to stop praying to his God. He did not resort to prayers just because of the present situation; he did so because prayer was his regular way of life. I advise you today to keep a prayer life that will see you through the times of problem so that you won’t compromise the will of God in order to get out of trouble. God bless you.
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