I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come. (Rev. 2:24–25)
The price of bitcoin had surged to a high of over $1,100 at the beginning of December 2013, rising from under $15 in January of that same year. But on December 18, the cryptocurrency market plummeted to almost half its value. On a bitcoin trading website, in a semicoherent, typo-laden rant about his poor bitcoin trading skills and his fear of making the wrong choices at this volatile time, a blogger named GameKyuubi posted, “I AM HODLING!” Soon the term HODLing was being used in other contexts. Sometimes an acronym for “Holding On for Dear Life,” HODLing was used to describe the strategy of hanging on when others are dropping out.
We have been told that the Christian life is about progress, and that if you aren’t moving forward, you are backsliding. But Christ does not put that burden on the church. Jesus, who only gives light burdens, understands when your energies are spent resisting the evil around you and asks only that you hang in there until he returns.
Holding on for dear life to what we possess in Jesus Christ is a better alternative to succumbing to the evil around us. You may discover that HODLing is not a static form of relaxing in your faith but an active and stress-filled experience of grasping on to our last handhold from the cliff’s edge.
Assess what is yours in Christ, and hold on to it dearly.
Rich Eckley is professor emeritus of theology at Houghton College (NY). He is an ordained Wesleyan minister and enjoys—with his wife, Lynn—entertaining four active grandchildren.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.