Hold Fast to What is Good

Romans 12.9

Sadly, we live in a world where ethics get compromised for the sake of personal convenience and morals get set aside for one’s own gain.

Amy Choate-Nielsen reports, “According to a Reader’s Digest poll in 2004, 93 percent of respondents reported one or more kinds of dishonesty at work or school, and 96 percent reported lying to or committing other dishonest acts toward those close to them.” (Deseret News, March 28, 2014)

According to a report shared by Madeline Boehmer, 75 percent of employees admit to having stolen at least once from their employer, and 37.5 percent admit to having stolen at least twice from their employer.  Employee thefts result in $50 billion stolen from U.S. businesses each year.  (SheerID Inc.)

On the flip side, David Cooper and Teresa Kroeger report that in the 10 most populous U.S. states, employers rob the lowest earning workers: “2.4 million workers lose $8 billion annually (an average of $3,300 per year for year-round workers) to minimum wage violations—nearly a quarter of their earned wages.” (Economic Policy Institute, May 10, 2017)

In the midst of such corruption, 1 Thessalonians 5:21 commands us, “Hold fast to what is good.”

Those who seek to be followers of the God who is good need to be careful not to settle for the collapsed ethics and morals of our world.  We need to pursue the good that matches the loving heart of God.

Mother Teresa once commented, “The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted, uncared for and deserted by everybody.  The greatest evil is the lack of love and charity.”

The good that God tells us to hold fast to has to do with applying love and charity to the people we meet.

Ruth Haley Barton puts it this way: “In every decision we make we could hope that somewhere along the way someone will ask, ‘What does love call us to?’” (Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, p. 197)

I think that’s what Pee Wee Reese tried to do.  According to Larry Wise, “Jackie Robinson was the first black to play major league baseball.  While breaking the ‘color barrier,’ he faced jeering crowds in every stadium.  While playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he committed an error.  His own fans began to ridicule him.  He stood at second base, humiliated, while the fans jeered.  Then shortstop Pee Wee Reese came over and stood next to him.  He put his arm around Jackie Robinson and faced the crowd.  The fans grew quiet.  Robinson later said that arm around his shoulder saved his career.”

May we hold fast to what is good by asking repeatedly, ‘What does love call me to do?’

 

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