I've worked in a variety of places. Retail was my least favorite. Everything else was a little more down my alley - computers, papers, and files. An administrator's dream! One thing each job had had in common, though, was the colorful variety of people I worked with. And not all of them the greatest influence! When 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 think of "holding," I picture a plane in a holding pattern, just circling, trying to land. To me, that's not the ideal position to be in. You're not accomplishing anything. It's more of a survival mode because there's not enough strength or vision to do anything different.
God, on the other hand, doesn't want us to be "stuck" 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 not only hold our ground, but get stronger in the process! He's awesome that way!
It's not just at work that we get hit with opportunities to slip up. Step inside the mall, a theater, or a gas station, and there will be something 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 make us look like we stepped out of Vogue Magazine. We say "no thanks" to a night out partying, and hold our tongue when everyone around us is swearing their heart out. Each time we do, we'll grow stronger and stronger, soaring higher and higher!