Hearing From A Donkey


Part 1 of 2

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]T[/su_dropcap]HERE IS AN age-old story about a man named Balaam who was a powerful leader. In the hay-day of his influence, principles of truth guided his words and actions. Because we know that principles of truth never change, falter, or fail – we know that Balaam was a man of wisdom. He was skilled in communicating well, engaging with common sense, and influencing with knowledge and strength. A man of honor, Balaam managed pressure and conflict with integrity. Until he didn’t.

The Anatomy of Balaam’s Fall

This is the geist of Baalam’s hay-day leadership story:
  1. He was chosen to bring truth and guidance to a large and select group of people. These select people were in a place surrounded by other leaders and many people who did not have their best interests at heart.
  2. The reigning powerful leader in this place, who had misery-causing (evil) motives, decided to network with Baalam. This leader’s ultimate goal was to use his partnership with Baalam to create chaos, confusion, and offense among the select people.
  3. Specifically, this leader requested that Baalam introduce negative, disrespectful, and untruthful communications among the select people, which would lead to disobedient behavior. Ultimately, this behavior would cause the destruction and demise of the select people.
  4. For a time, Baalam refused to compromise his integrity. Rather, he spoke facts and reality (truth) into every opportunity to do wrong.
  5. Because Balaam continued to communicate with the misery-causing leader, Balaam was eventually tempted by the powerful leader with a monetary payoff.
Sadly, Balaam entered into the state called Compromise.
  1. In the midst of his rebellion, Baalam tried to find a non-existent middle ground between truth and lies; between right and wrong; and between good and misery-causing behavior.
  2. In time, the state of Compromise caused Balaam to gradually reason wrongly, manipulate circumstances, misuse relationships, initiate witch-hunts, and twist facts and reality – over and over and over again.
  3. Balaam was playing on the slippery slope of Compromise – all the while lying to himself that he was still a good man.
Eventually the slippery slope led him to a place between a rock and a hard place – literally.
  1. As Balaam was riding his donkey to work one day (in full-blown compromise mode), the beast shimmied his way into a very narrow place between two rock walls – with one on each side – thus inhibiting Balaam’s forward movement.
  2. Balaam was determined to have his own way so he began to beat his faithful donkey, cursing and blaming the donkey for his (Balaam’s) consequential situation.
  3. Against all that nature teaches, the donkey begins speaking facts and reality to Balaam. Yes, a donkey spoke into the deceived, rebellious, compromised state of a man! 1
Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Not the Good Kind of Compromise

To be clear: while there may have been some good derived somewhere in all of Balaam’s life story, Balaam’s state of deceitful compromise did not represent the good kind of compromise.

[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#E6FEFF ” end_color=”#E6FEFF ” border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″] Never doubt, there is a genuinely good kind of compromise associated with peaceful, wholesome, and righteous outcomes in negotiation processes. This good kind of compromise genuinely has everyone’s best interests at heart – when no one is forced to wear the donkey tails of blame and shame.[/message][su_spacer]

No, Balaam’s kind of compromise was highly self-serving, self-protective, and self-willed. Over time, his ill-begotten motives were covered in gooey, flowery words consisting of all things “Self.” In his deceived state, the words of his mouth were strung together in half-truths that were repeated over, and over, and over again – creating a quagmire of aggravating nonsense.

This kind of confusing nonsense is just the kind of foolishness that causes donkeys to defy their very nature, purpose, and position – and speak!

The Sludge of Compromise

So, how does a leader spiral downward from his once upright position of integrity of character? Even more, how does this phenomenon happen in the very midst of the watchful eyes and listening ears of so many followers?

[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#E6FEFF ” end_color=”#E6FEFF ” border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″]For starters, the sludge of compromise is craftily preceded by a slippery slope of self-enthronement. One doesn’t just move from Wisdom’s hallways of success to abiding among the exhausting work rooms that house half-truths. [/message][su_spacer]

For sure, there is a breezeway between Wisdom’s hallways and Half-Truth’s work rooms. This breezeway is where the giant of self-will is worshipped by the leader and his group of supporting minions – out of the sight of the followers.

  • In the proverbial breezeway, the idea of the self-willed throne begins in certain areas of the leader’s thoughts and feelings.
  • This idea is encouraged by the supporting minions, many of whom need to maintain their position of power, control, and authority.
  • In time, the self-willed throne is occupied by the various wellsprings of knowledge, strength, wisdom, and authority amassed by the self-appointed king and his minions.
  • These wellsprings are generally created in legitimate areas where the leader has:
    • been given great insight;
    • prevailed over conflict;
    • gained authority;
    • instructed others; and
    • enjoyed success.

So you see, even in the self-enthronement process there are slivers of goodness, righteousness, and truth represented by the wellsprings.

This truth is part of the overwhelming sludge and frustration of compromise: there is always some sliver of truth in every lie. This is why a lie is so frustratingly deceiving to so many people. But, a lie, is a lie, is a lie – even with its faint flicker of light.

            The Antidote to Compromising Lies: Principles of Truth

[bctt tweet=”Nevertheless, a lie cannot withstand the power and purity of principles of truth that never change, falter, or fail.” via=”no”]You can take that truth to the bank!

Principles are always right, therefore the people who live by principles have no need to worry about who is right or wrong. For truly, the compromiser’s accusations of who is right and who is wrong cannot be laid at the feet of a person who lives, moves, and has their being based on principles.

Rather, the rightful place for all truth and all lies is at the feet of principles. This is because Principle’s perfect scale of weights and balances awaits justice’s measurements – That of Revelation Truth.

Come to think of it: Revelation Truth is exactly what Donkey-Speak consists of – in its entirety.


1 King James Bible. Book of Numbers, Chapters 22, 23, and 24. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible, 1973. Print.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Part 2 of Devaney’s Series can be found HERE


Devaney Rae
Devaney Rae
Devaney’s professional background includes professional Business Development, Leadership, and Life on Purpose Coaching, along with Instructional Design Technology consulting for Training & Presentation Design. Devaney also provides professional consulting within Organizational/ Performance Management for business owners and decision-makers. Devaney also established Life On Purpose with Devaney Rae in early 2018 as a way to connect with others who want to Get From Where You Are Now To Where You Want to Be. This effort connects people with professional coaching and a variety of resources to establish business growth that includes learning to create and manage multiple streams of income. Devaney works one-on-one and in small groups with people to create their own Life Purpose Plan and to develop the correct Business Strategy for Growth. Then, she helps them bring the plan to life so each one can step into their ownMORE! She has enjoyed a successful career in Healthcare Administration, Chemical Manufacturing, Retail Sales, Marketing, and within the Non-Profit Business sectors. Devaney earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Walden University and her Master’s degree in Instructional Design Technology for Professional Trainers from New York Institute of Technology. She also earned a degree in Dental Hygiene with license to practice in Texas and Louisiana. Devaney is a published author of the book, Countless Joys: The Place Beyond Tears (Westbow Press, 2015). The content is her story about how ordinary people are called to do “the extraordinary” in life. She has a passion for impacting others with life-giving hope, joy, and peace. Devaney established a non-profit organization, Countless Joys, Inc. in 2015. The mission of Countless Joys, Inc. is to Touch the Lives of Others with Joy. The specific focus is on Interrupting Human Trafficking of children and teenagers. Altogether, giving back to others is Devaney’s personal life mission and joy. Devaney makes her home in Franklin, Tennessee.

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  1. I hadn’t heard this story of Balaam explained this way before. Self is a huge barricade to seeing how things really are. It’s impossible to be looking outward at the truth when focus is turned inward. Compromise can be good only, when, as you said, “genuinely has everyone’s best interests at heart”. There can be very effective compromises is they are not powered by pride and one-sided acquiescence and lopsided concessions. I heard said of an arrogant leader, “He’s a legend in his own mind.” I don’t see much valuable compromise there.

    • Thank you, Jane, for joining the conversation. Indeed, “self” is a huge barricade to seeing how things really are. Truly, truly our tendency is to mindlessly believe our ways and thoughts are right, good, and best. That’s why we need great girlfriends and friends who are guys – who will tell us the truth about ourselves! 🙂

    • We sure do need friends who will tell us the truth about ourselves. Have you found them though? I pick friends who I love to be around. They would never tell me one negative thing about me or my work. That is good and bad, as I’m sure you can guess.

    • Jane, I’ve found the few friends who will tell me the truth – and who I can tell the truth to – without relationship failure results. Indeed, it is a rare find! I am so thankful for these rare finds in life! 🙂

  2. One thing I have used my whole life in truthful or not so truthful situations. There are three sides to every story, Your Side, Their Side, and The Truth Side. I would always tell my children this to help them sort through the garbage of life. It’s amazing how many times the stories changed.

    • That’s a good way to look at it. I like that explanation, 3-sided aspect.Truth is blind to bias and even though we guard against it, we all have those filters to a certain degree.

    • Hi Lynn, thanks for joining the conversation again. I remember my mom saying the same thing to me – she still does! 🙂

  3. I agree, there are many situations where compromise is desirable, even necessary. But, that concept is self defeating if we are compromising our honesty, ethics, morals, and truth. Of course some of these are less than absolute which makes the entire issue more difficult. Truth, for example, is sometimes in the eye of the beholder and truth to you may not be truth to me, though often times a “personal” truth is presented as absolute.

    • Thanks for joining the conversation, Ken, with great insights. I would submit that there is a truth that is based on principles, which are solidly steadfast, forever true, and not negotiable from any personal viewpoint. These are the standards from the foundation of the earth. Everything else is subject to personal interpretation and debate – for the ages. 🙂

    • True. There are truths and then there are truths. Often times an opinion is presented as a truth, and too often is accepted as such by others. One of the great challenges in life is to learn to identify the difference.

      The hard fact is that ethics, morals, and truth are not always as set in stone as we would like.

    • Yes, Ken, when leader’s (especially) present their own self-serving opinion as the truth (and worse, as “God said”), so many people just blindly accept their words as truth. It is very destructive on many levels. And sad, too. 🙂