I googled the word compromise. Here are the results: “1 – made vulnerable (as to attack or misuse) by unauthorized access, revelation, or exposure compromised data/passwords/accounts a compromised computer; 2-impaired or diminished in function: weakened, damaged, or flawed a compromised immune system”.
Then I googled, “What does the Bible teach us about compromise”? Here is what I found: “Compromise can be positive—as in coming to an agreement by accommodation, or negative—such as lowering standards. The Bible clearly instructs us not to compromise God’s standards.”
I have stared at these search results for days waiting for some sort of inspiration to spark my thoughts and guide my writing. It is now three forty-nine in the morning of a random day and I find myself sitting at my computer staring, yet again, at these two entries of text. This time however, my heart continues to be drawn to the idea of compromise serving as a lowering of standards.
Did the 3/5 Compromise set us up to fail? Yes, it was built on the momentum of slavery, perpetuated ideals of “less than” and helped to formalize a system of racial injustice and inequality that haunts us to this day. By serving their own political pursuits to gain a personal and political surplus, the creators of the 3/5 Compromise created something even more evil. By thinking of themselves as God, they watered a seed that had been planted centuries earlier. A seed that has become the very weed that keeps the self-esteem and identity of every person of color vulnerable, weak, and defenseless.
For future generations of people of color, since the inception of the 3/5 Compromise, the attack on our right to exist really does come like a thief in the night. For the weed that was planted exists beneath the foundation of every house we have ever tried to build. The root base of the weed is, and forever will be, part of the fiber of every thought we have, decision we make, and word we utter.
Jesus was like the original master gardener, able to cast out roots and demons from any one of man’s gardens. A good friend of mine, Frank Robinson, reminded me of the following: “Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the Word of God. If that is true, (it is) Fear comes by hearing & believing a lie. So, if love casts out fear, we are to be speaking the truth in love”. Imagine if we found a way to come together as children of God. Love instead of lie; agree with the image of God instead of lowering our standards to pursue earthly treasures. Would this be enough to get rid of the root of the evil that remains embedded in the hearts and the minds of the men who would be gods?
By Tiffany Reid