When the Alaskan Pipeline was being built, there were many Texans who went to Alaska and found work on the pipeline. The Texans could only work a few hours in the frigid weather, before they could no longer stand the conditions they were up against. The native Eskimos could work indefinitely in the cold with seemingly effortless grace. After a while of watching this situation, a study was put together to find out why the Eskimos were physically superior to the Texans. The study showed no difference in skin thickness, blood, or any other characteristic that would explain the Eskimo’s ability to work despite the circumstances.
The solution came when they did a psychological study. They found that the Eskimos perspective was that they KNEW IT WAS COLD, but there was A JOB TO BE DONE. The Eskimo was simply focused on the task at hand and the Texans were focused on the challenges within the task.
We often see this principle play out in our lives when we keep falling to the same old sins and transgressions within our Christian walk. Rather than focusing on the fact that there is a job to be done of living in obedience to Christ, it seems we focus on the challenges of doing so. We miss the lesson that living for God is hard work, but that work is not our enemy. When the work of obedience seems to be staring us in the face, we often give up on the task because we thought it should be easier.
The only thing that comes easy is the grace of God to forgive us of our sins and call us His children. Beyond that, we need to WORK out our obedience to Him with persistence and gumption. Philippians 2:12 says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” The conditions may be fierce, but that should not be our focus. It should come as no surprise that when temptation steps into the ring, he will not be won without a battle.
Perhaps we can learn this lesson from the Eskimo. Yes, the world is COLD, but there is A JOB TO BE DONE. If we focus on the goal of honoring Christ with our lives, we will not be as susceptible to the conditions that are all around us.
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