January 27, 2012 | 10:26 am

The Upside of Compromise

I think Ludwig Erhard captured our attitude toward compromise  very well when he said, “A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.” In other words, we do not like to make compromises. We want to believe that we live life on our terms--not someone else’s!

In many ways this impulse serves us well. It keeps us focused on our passions, our internal sense of purpose, and a drive to achieve our goals. However, as well as this may work in careers and athletics, it is a lousy approach to relationships. There is no way to have successful relationships without compromise. It is part of what it means to love one another. When Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another” (John 13:34), it implies that at times we must be willing to compromise our wants to help others get what they want.  If we lack this, then we are not really in relationships as much as we are in a competition to see who gets their way.

As people who seek to follow the way of Jesus, we strive to love all people. And this means we are willing to compromise to help one another.