A Brief Meditation for the Month

January 2021

As we proceed into a New Year, biblical Christians are deeply conscious of our society’s rapidly-increasing secularisation. It seems that the majority of those we meet with from day to day have little or no thought of God, their creator. It has become almost a red-letter day in the experience of a child of God when he or she meets a stranger and discovers from their conversation that they have met a true fellow-believer. Sadly, even many of those who attend some form of church worship, claiming to be “born again” Christians, are either embarrassed to engage in spiritual conversation or else they simply have not sufficient, if any, interest in such communications.

For this reason, in part, many of God’s children are feeling more and more isolated within our humanistic and hedonistic society today. Nevertheless, by grace, we must endeavour to let our light shine in the increasing spiritual darkness. The Lord Jesus taught: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16. Jesus knew that men often refuse to hear or listen; nevertheless, they cannot avoid seeing. Therefore, it is all the more reason for a Christian, professing the name of Christ, to be consciously living a life of practical godliness before those with whom he or she comes into contact. Without question, our day presents us with a golden opportunity to exhibit biblical faith that produces holy living and God-honouring conduct. Paul the apostle reminds us that, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2Corinthians 5:17. This being the case, there ought to be evidence of the ‘newness’ of which the apostle wrote. Wherever the Christian is found in our society, at whatever occupation, in whatever circumstances, biblical morality and biblical ethics should govern every aspect of conduct and behaviour.

George Swinnock, the English Puritan, wrote: “If you would speak with a tradesman, you may meet him in his shop; the farmer’s usual walk is in the fields; he that has business with the merchant expects him in his counting-house or amongst his goods: and he that looks for the Christian shall not fail to find him with his God. Whether he be alone or in company, abroad or in his family, buying or selling, feeding himself or visiting others, he does all as in God’s presence, and all aims at His praise. As the sap of a tree rises up from the root, not only to the body, but also to the branches and smallest twigs; so grace in a saint springs up from the heart, and flows out, not only in his spiritual and higher, but also in his civil and lower actions.”

I fear that today, increasing numbers of those who profess to be God’s children succumb to the temptation to compromise Christian principles in the workplace. When they ought to be courageous for Christ’s honour, and remain firm and consistent, refusing to take any part in questionable or ‘sharp practice,’ they buckle under pressure. These are indeed testing times for the Lord’s dear people. They need much of God’s grace to withstand the pressures to conform to the ungodly attitudes prevalent in many establishments. We recall that Joseph was put under enormous pressure from the sinful lusting of Potiphar’s wife, but he stood steadfast in his spirit, resolved, “how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9. When we take the Saviour with us, wherever we go, he will give the necessary grace and fortitude to overcome every temptation, and trial; however severe.

G. G. Hutton.