True Convictions

Job 27:1–23

“I vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty who has embittered my soul—

As long as I live, while I have breath from God,

my lips will speak no evil, and my tongue will speak no lies.

I will never concede that you are right; I will defend my integrity until I die.

I will maintain my innocence without wavering. My conscience is clear for as long as I live.” (Job 27:1–6)

Reflecting on past blessings gives us reasons to rejoice. Let me urge you who are parents still rearing young children to teach them how to do this by practicing it often. Suppertime is a great opportunity to reflect. It’s an ideal time to look back over the day and to count the blessings.

Rehearsing present trials forces us to swallow our pride. I suggest that we rehearse the present trials we’re going through and allow them appropriately to cut us down to size. Being “leveled” has its benefits.

Reaffirming our commitment to integrity strengthens us with confidence and courage. This is what I love most about Job: even when he is discouraged and disappointed, he is not defeated.

Cynthia and I recently returned from a life-changing tour of the sites made famous by a small group of strong-hearted, straight-thinking men. We know them today as Reformers. They were the leaders of the Great Reformation that swept across Central Europe in the sixteenth century.

Jon Huss of Czechoslovakia, Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon of Germany, Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin of Switzerland, and John Knox of Scotland (to name only a few) were not supermen in stature or strength. Nor were they anywhere near perfect. But they were men of integrity, which included character qualities that kept them faithful. It also resulted in their being unintimidated in the face of opposition that was not only vocal but life-threatening. To borrow from Luther’s now-famous line, each one said, in effect, “Here I stand, I can do no other,” as they refused to weaken or recant. Like Job, they were misunderstood, maligned, falsely accused, and openly insulted by their critics. They represented lonely voices of truth while standing true to their convictions.

While on our tour, I often lingered at a bronze statue or stood in the pulpit where one of them once preached, wondering if, perhaps, they were strengthened to stand alone by the example left by Job in the Scriptures. Long before they lived, he testified, “Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go” (Job 27:5–6).

I also asked myself, “Would I have the courage to do what they did?” Would you?

Taken from Great Days with the Great Lives by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.

Posted in Church History and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.