Job 2:9-10 – [Job's] wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. (NIV)
In a Peanuts cartoon, Lucy wrote an essay the first day back at school. She wrote, "Vacations are nice, but it's good to get back to school. There is nothing more satisfying or challenging than education, and I look forward to a year of expanding knowledge." The teacher was suitably impressed with Lucy's thoughts and complimented her on her fine essay. In the final frame Lucy leaned over to Charlie Brown and whispered, "After a while, you learn what sells."
The temptation to do what sells, to give in to what suits, is always with us. It is a constant challenge to our personal integrity.
Job's wife had an opinion about integrity at the beginning of his suffering. But Job could not curse God. If Job cursed God it would go against everything he believed about God and himself.
Sometimes life can feel like we are in the middle of a contest between God and Satan.
We wonder how much more we can take.
We wonder where we will find the strength.
We wonder where God is and why He is allowing such pain.
Integrity does not mean accepting life's difficulties with a rosy outlook or a Pollyanna attitude. It allows for the depression and the questioning and the anger which sometimes go hand in hand with suffering. But it also allows for holding on to God.
Prayer: Lord in the very midst of our struggles we cling to you, and in doing so we cling to our integrity — that wholeness which is so often threatened by the pressures of life. Thank you for your Spirit who gives us the strength to hold on. In Jesus' name. Amen.