There should always be things in our lives that are non-negotiable. These are things for which we’re willing to suffer pain for, make sacrifices towards, face humiliation, and endure failures. It’s important to have these non-negotiables, for without them, we become people without passion. By virtue of the word “passion” itself, it speaks of suffering that draws its comparison and inspiration from the sufferings of Christ upon the Cross. Likewise, we need to have a set of non-negotiables that root us and infuse us with purpose and passion.
Conversely, we also need to know what are our negotiables. For without negotiables, we become difficult, unbending, dogmatic, obstinate, and stuck in our own ways. When we make the unimportant the “thing”, we risk shifting our lives into some small tributary that really doesn’t matter in the long run. We expend energy, resources and sacrifice relationships all in naught.
The key lies in having the wisdom to know what are truly worthwhile non-negotiables and what’s the chaff amongst the wheat. Thankfully, the Bible is not silent on these matters – the Presence of God, the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, amongst others – these are all clearly stated matters of worth and of great value. However, there are others that are not that easily seen and deciphered. The incredible emphasis in Scripture on marriage, children and family is inferred by the central part it plays in the narrative of the whole of Scripture.
The elemental foundation of free-choice given to mankind is yet another one of those. Someone once said that while God is against sin, He gave mankind the freedom to choose sin by placing the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the midst of the Garden of Eden.
You see, while we all need non-negotiables in our lives, we must not make our non-negotiables those of someone else’s. When we start thinking that everyone else should have the same non-negotiables as we do, we walk down the slippery path of oppression and tyranny. Terrorists are essentially people who seek to impose their non-negotiables on everyone else through the exercise of a weapon to kill, maim and coerce.
The world we live in, does not exist in relativity. There are absolutes. There are absolutes because this universe is created by God to reflect and coincide with His divine attributes, and He’s unchanging. For that, we need to make sure that we have a set of non-negotiables that reflect the nature of God. By them, we may live out a life that becomes an objective witness to the world of what an abundant, fulfilled and worthwhile life looks like. The rest is up to them.