In the 1980s I faced a wonderful future job, recognition, community status, and clout. A large lobby offered me substantial money, enough to guarantee this position, presumably an offer so good I could not refuse but I must promise to support their goals. I disagreed completely with them, and a bribe is a bribe no matter how you pretty it up.
Over a period of two weeks, I had a long talk with myself and God. This group had evil in mind, the control of other people and political corruption as well. With a heavy heart I refused their offer and lost my investment of $14,000 which at that time was a major piece of cash. I also lost much of my reputation regarded a failure, condemned by many including my family who did not know the facts. In reality, they never asked me anything about it..
It was then that I made a decision, one which turned out to change my life forever. I decided never again to compromise with evil. And I would not need two weeks to think it over either. Since then many, many times I have been faced with that choice and didn’t fold, but the personal costs have been high.
Here is why you can’t do it. First if you compromise with evil you lose. You lose your self-respect, your integrity, and occasionally a lot more. I think of the people who find themselves forever tied to someone who gave them a “break” and then ended up in some criminal enterprise. There are women and men who married for the wrong reason and then have decades of unhappiness to reflect on their bad choices. There are those who go along for a joy ride, ending up in a hospital with a broken leg or someone dead bashed into a tree, with years of legal and physical consequences.
The past cannot be retrieved. If someone is beating you or raping you, you must get out. If you are inadvertently involved in crime you must flee. If you are underage and being abused you must tell someone you trust and hope they don’t drop the ball. God knows who you are and prayer changes situations and things.
But there is a second reason – if you compromise with evil, evil wins yet another victory, and in doing so becomes stronger and stronger. Merchants who pay protection money to the Mob- and this nasty bunch operates in every poor section of every major city world-wide – only gives more money to the very people destroying local business. The whole of society is torn down when we cave like this.
That is two victories for Evil and not one for Good. Count ‘em.
Later I had a nice job teaching my specialty where a fellow teacher tried to seduce the high school boys, most of whom were in this school because of horrid choices involving sex, alcohol, drugs, crime or all four. They were vulnerable; how could they report this? They might be endangered – she was the authority figure. As their teacher I saw they could have a good future, but not if they sunk into trouble again. Finally after three months of this, I quit my job and reported her to the director who listened to my story and said something that shocked me – I am sure he saw my face.
He said, “Oh she’s not doing that again!!!” So I had done the right thing but losing my job caused me a great deal of trouble. I never had another job that paid anywhere near that much money.
That story has repeated itself many times over, corrupt officials, managers, leaders – I’ve had to challenge them. One minister stole $10,000 in tithe money; he was never censured but God knows his address. Another person was a master slanderer and I did live to see her get her comeuppance, albeit many years later, long after I had left the scene.
Compromise itself is not bad; it is only compromise with evil that demands confrontation. Choose your battles carefully.