The Wisdom Chronicle

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The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year. I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, J. Whiddon

  1. TOLERANCE  “Traditionally, tolerance of other viewpoints meant that even though I think those viewpoints are dead wrong and will argue against them fervently, nevertheless, I will defend your right to argue your own case. Just as importantly, I will treat you with respect as an image bearer of God, even though your views are abhorrent to me.

Tolerance has come to mean that no one is right and no one is wrong and, indeed, the very act of stating that someone else’s views are immoral or incorrect is now taken to be intolerant (of course, from this same point of view, it is all right to be intolerant of those who hold to objectively true moral or religious positions). Once the existence of knowable truth in religion and ethics is denied, authority (the right to be believed and obeyed) gives way to power (the ability to force compliance), reason gives way to rhetoric, the speech writer is replaced by the makeup man, and spirited but civil debate in the culture wars is replaced by politically correct special-interest groups who have nothing left but political coercion to enforce their views on others. While the Christian faith clearly teaches that believers are to be involved as good citizens in the state, nevertheless, it is obvious why so many secularists are addicted to politics today because political power is a surrogate for a Higher Power. As Friedrich Nietzsche said, once God died in Western culture — that is, once the concept of God no longer informed the major idea-generating centers of society turned secular — there would be turmoil and horrible secular wars unchecked by traditional morality because the state would come to be a surrogate god for many.”

Excerpt From: Moreland, J.P. “Love Your God with All Your Mind.”

  1. NATIONAL SUICIDE “History shows that all great nations commit suicide.” –Arnold Toynbee

“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” — Abraham Lincoln

“There is no question about the earlier menace of the Nazis and Communists, and now Islamic extremists, but in the end the ultimate threat to the American republic will be Americans. The problem is not wolves at the door but termites in the floor. Powerful free people die only by their own hand, and free people have no one to blame but themselves. What the world seems fascinated to watch but powerless to stop is the spectacle of a free people’s suicide.”

Excerpt From: Guinness, Os. “A Free People’s Suicide.”

  1. HEALTH FACTORS “We’ve long known that the four most important things that accelerate aging are inactivity, obesity, cigarette smoking, and stress. But if we had to pick one of these four as the “first great health sin among equals,” inactivity would be it. In fact, research that has emerged from research centers in recent years has confirmed this unexpected truth: it’s better to be fat and fit, rather than skinny and unfit. It’s also better to be a cigarette smoker and fit than a nonsmoker and unfit.”

Excerpt From: Kenneth Cooper, M.D., MPH & Tyler Cooper, M.D., MPH. “Start Strong, Finish Strong.”

  1. FOREVER “We can exaggerate about many things; but we can never exaggerate our obligation to Jesus, or the compassionate abundance of the love of Jesus to us. All our lives long we might talk of Jesus, and yet we should never come to an end of the sweet things that might be said of Him. Eternity will not be long enough to learn all He is, or to praise Him for all He has done, but then, that matters not; for we shall be always with Him, and we desire nothing more.”

Excerpt From: A. W. Tozer. “The Pursuit of God.”

  1. REFEREE BIAS? “Psychology finds that social influence is a powerful force that can affect human behavior and decisions without the subjects even being aware of it. Psychologists call this influence conformity because it causes the subject’s opinion to conform to a group’s opinion. This influence can come from social pressure or from an ambiguous situation in which someone seeks information from a group.

When humans are faced with enormous pressure—say, making a crucial call with a rabid crowd yelling, taunting, and chanting a few feet away—it is natural to want to alleviate that pressure. By making snap-judgment calls in favor of the home team, referees, whether they consciously appreciate it or not, are relieving some of that stress.

If beliefs are being changed by the environment, as psychology shows, referees aren’t necessarily consciously favoring the home team but are doing what they believe is right. It’s just that their perceptions have been altered. In trying to make the right call, they are conforming to a larger group’s opinion, swayed by tens of thousands of people witnessing the exact same play they did.”

Excerpt From: Tobias Moskowitz & L. Jon Wertheim. “Scorecasting.”

  1. MORAL JUDGMENT “One reason many people don’t concern themselves with issues of good and evil is that the moment you take ethical issues seriously, you must begin to make moral judgments—both of yourself and of others. This has two unpleasant consequences: subjecting yourself to constant moral scrutiny and publicly opposing other peoples immoral behavior.

Since making moral judgments means that some people will hate you and fight you and that others will pass judgment on you, it is much easier not to make moral judgments.

Many people do not preoccupy themselves with moral issues because doing so forces them to confront evil. Once you judge a person, government, group, or action as evil, you have to do something about it or live with a guilty conscience. Neither is a pleasant prospect. Confronting evil is unpleasant and possibly dangerous; and a guilty conscience is a source of misery.”

Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”

  1. PICTURE OF GOD ““A little boy was working hard on a drawing and his daddy asked him what he was doing. The son replied, “Drawing a picture of God.” His daddy said, “You can’t do that, honey. Nobody knows what God looks like.” But the little boy was undeterred and continued to draw, looked at his picture with satisfaction and said very matter-of-factly, “They will in a few minutes.”

Excerpt From: Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”

  1. SELF DISCIPLINE

“Well begun is half done.”

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

–Aristotle

“There are some battles you can win, but it is not wise to fight the.  There are other battles you can’t win, and you fight anyway.” –Unknown

“Our life’s journey is about direction – not perfection.”

— C. Seidman

  1. “Tal­ent hits a tar­get no one else can hit. Ge­nius hits a tar­get no one else can see.”

— Schopen­hauer

  1. HABITS “Sow a Thought, and you reap an Act;

Sow an Act, and you reap a Habit;

Sow a Habit, and you reap a Character;

Sow a Character, and you reap a Destiny.”

— Unknown

 

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