being uncompromising

A conversation the other day left me uneasy, wondering if I'm being too stubborn or unyielding, and hindering community life not so differently from the new "uncompromising" Tea Party politicians who are making our government more dysfunctional than ever. If no one compromises, how can anything get done?

Thinking about it, though, I was reminded that Jesus also was a bit uncompromising, and seemed to teach his followers to act likewise. Yet he obviously bore little resemblance to the Tea Party politicians. One of the biggest differences I see is that those politicians (like all politicians and their supporters) work to gain political power to implement their "uncompromising" ideas, and use that power to oppose the efforts of others who disagree with them. Jesus wasn't like that. In the discussions about the current problems in our government, the focus is usually on the unwillingness to compromise, or the strong convictions that our own views are the correct ones. But I think the bigger problem is the addition of political power. Being uncompromising or having strong convictions does not hinder others if that person remains poor and weak. It doesn't stop things from getting done. And it doesn't punish those who disagree with us; if anyone gets punished in a disagreement, it's the weak one.

If we're going to be uncompromising and weak, then it's ourselves that we're putting at risk. That's why it's so important that we're standing for the truth, that we're standing with God, because if we're not than we're the ones who are going to suffer.

Even if we don't have political power, though, or the support of many people, our immovability may cause us to not personally help in certain community efforts. Which is usually seen as a detriment to unity and a weakening of the group's ability to accomplish things. But that's only considered harmful if the only power we have on our side is the power of united people, i.e. political power. That is weakened whenever people drop out. But if the group is seeking God's way and hoping to experience and participate in God's power, then a reduction in numbers is no hindrance. God's power is more than enough. And, conversely, if a person is taking a stand for the truth and relying on God's power, it doesn't matter if many people are against him or will not help him. Because it's not by human power but by God's power that the real good gets done.