I have found myself thinking of the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel Ch. 3) recently. Three guys known for their encounter with God in the fiery furnace. Looking over the story again I find it amazing. Here were 3 men who worked for the King, refusing to compromise to get ahead or to literally save their own skin.
I also found myself thinking about my own walk with the Lord. How have I compromised with the world over the years? I am sad to say that God's standards and mine have not always seemed to match. This is something I have been working through over a season.
I believe fully that we are all ministers of the Gospel. It does not matter if we are pastors or plumbers, deacons or diesel mechanics. We are all called to be light to the world around us. The hands and feet of the Gospel.
I believe we need a spiritual balance in order to be in the world but not of it. We don't have to be in a job that is labeled "full time ministry" to minister. We can and should be lights to the world around us. Not compromising God's standards to fit in but not being sticks in the mud either. Remember people were attracted to Christ but He always spoke truth in love. He never compromised.
The challenge to us as believers is to stand for truth. Sometimes this means doing so in the secular world, sometimes it is with other believers. This may be with an individual or if we see something within our church community that can be addressed in love. When we are certain that it is God's timing and God's direction, then we can speak, trusting Him to give us courage, and not be intimidated. If the words are not received, we can continue in prayer for the people, but rest in knowing we have been obedient and the rest is up to God.
We need balance. We are to be in the world but not of it and not so heavenly minded we are no earthly good. Not to be cliche but that is the balance we need. Focused on Christ but aware of those in need around us. Focused on the King but people unbelievers are drawn to.
Ask yourself that question I mentioned earlier. Have you compromised?