51. Compromise, Contradiction and Credibility

by Mar 11, 20242024

Let’s begin at the end. A number of years ago, while I was quite young, I made the decision to try to live my life in such a way that others would trust me. I longed to live with consistency, reliability, and what I later learned to describe as credibility. By definition, having credibility entails being reliable and honest. These traits, in turn, contribute to being viewed as trustworthy.

Credibility has become a pillar in my life that I’ve tried very hard to uphold. And I say, “tried very hard”, because It requires effort and commitment to resist some of our natural human tendencies. For example, it takes effort to own our mistakes instead of trying to cover them up due to embarrassment. It takes effort to not exaggerate, to make ourselves look “good”, or make excuses for our behavior. Yet isn’t it a worthwhile quest to live our lives in such a way that we earn the distinction of having credibility?

The Benefits and Blessings

I love to be around people who share this same goal. In fact, they are my favorite people! When we choose to live with credibility, it causes others to feel safe around us. It builds trust and respect and fosters the desire in others to seek our opinion. People will feel comfortable to share their lives  – even the intimate and personal issues they experience. Here are a few more relational benefits of credibility:

  • It builds friendships.
  • It builds strong family relationships.
  • It brings success in our careers.

In summary, credibility serves as a ribbon, that when tied around the whole of our lives allows us to enjoy fulfilling, healthy relationships and help others to do the same.

Credibility’s Contrast

In contrast, we lose credibility (or perhaps never attain it) when we compromise our character. This occurs when we don’t tell the truth. And I’m not talking about just telling “whoppers”! Even being prone to exaggerate the details of something is a form of lying that results in a lack of trust.

Contradiction occurs when our actions are in direct opposition to what we say or represent as our beliefs. Sadly, such contradiction diminishes the power of one’s beliefs. Like compromise, contradiction erases credibility by destroying our reputation, weakening our character, and undermining opportunities to build trust.

Other ways in which compromise and contradiction cause credibility to be lost include:

  • Trying to answer a question before we are familiar with the details.
  • Siding with someone in a disagreement before hearing the other side.

These are all examples against which we need to not only guard but come to detest in such a way that we seek to eliminate them from our lives altogether!

The Daily Choice

In short, compromise and contradiction are hypocrisy, and it requires serious effort to uphold high standards in our lives. It also requires the practice of apologizing when we fall short, for we will, despite our best efforts. In fact, the more effort we devote to living a life of credibility, the more often we will apologize! This is because choosing to live a life of credibility produces increased sensitivity and awareness of the words we speak. It increases our willingness to live honestly even when it may be to our detriment.

In closing, it is only as we allow our lives to be transformed by the love and power of Jesus that we will be able to live in the credible ways I am describing. Will you choose today to make every effort to abide in Him and live in a way that glorifies God? It is only by His grace we will succeed, and thanks be to God, for “Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness” (John 1:16, CSB)!