v 15. With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.
There is constant pressure on all of us to lower our standards of Christian living – it becomes easier to accept the standards of the world around us rather than maintain holiness of life. There are subtle demands made through adverts, and social pressures from the groups we associate with as well as a growing inner desire to be like others around us. At times we might be made to feel uncomfortable when we stand out as different from others in our social or working environment. Hence Paul urges his readers to keep a strong grip on the teaching.
And just in case you are wondering if it gets easier as you get older, my own feeling is that it doesn’t get any easier! My suspicion is that even in a monastery, there are pressures to relax standards of genuine holiness, let alone in BN44! Even the word Holiness gets a bad press when it carries overtones of religious superiority. A ‘Holy Joe’ – with a supposed standard of holiness and separation from society – can be subjected to ridicule.
Real holiness is both beautiful and attractive; so stand firm in living it out.