I have been employed by a variety of places over the years. From retail to clerical, education to janitorial – all held a unique list of responsibilities. Though retail was my least favorite, everything else was a little more down my alley as it included computers, papers, and files. An administrator’s dream!
One thing each job had in common, though, was the colorful variety of people I worked with. Not all of them, unfortunately, held the same godly values I did. Each time I started a new job, I had a choice to make. I could let the values of the people I worked with decide how I was going to act and live, or I was going to “hold to my way.”
“Yet the righteous will hold to his way, and he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.” Job 17:9
When I hear the word “hold,” I picture a plane in a holding pattern, just circling as he attempts to land. Any pilot will tell you that this is not the ideal position to be in. They are not accomplishing anything other than simply burning fuel. It’s unstable and uncertain. It’s more of a survival mode until conditions say it’s safe to land.
God, on the other hand, doesn’t want us to be stuck in a holding pattern in the sense that we’re just surviving. His idea of “holding” is not letting go of what we believe – for anyone or anything. In fact, the more we choose to live for Him and in His holiness, the stronger we get. We don’t lose fuel circling; we gain a whole new tank to keep us going!
God’s blessing and strength is all over someone who won’t let go of his or her standards and integrity. He’ll never ask us to live a certain way on our own ability. He fills us with the Holy Spirit, who helps us to not only hold our ground, but to get stronger in the process. In that strength we can influence others to be more like Him.
It’s not just at work that we get hit with opportunities to slip up. If we step inside the mall, a theater, or a gas station, something will be there to tempt us. Living in the world pure doesn’t require our perfection; it requires our total dependency on God and the strength that He promised. With Him to lean on, we can bypass the racks of clothes offering outfits that are less than modest. We can say “no thanks” to a night out partying, and hold our tongue when everyone around us is swearing their hearts out. We can resist the temptation to participate in gossip, or lose our temper when our testimony could be at stake. Each time we do, we’ll grow stronger and stronger, soaring higher and higher!