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
- WHICH IS BETTER? “Distinguishing between the effects of marijuana and cigarettes on the brain: would you rather get in an airplane where the pilot had just smoked a cigarette or a joint?” — D. Prager
- ABSTAIN FROM POT If one abstains from substance abuse up until the age of twenty-one, the chances one will ever have a substance abuse problem are next to zero.”
Excerpt From: William J. Bennett & Robert A White. “Going to Pot.”
- DOWNFALLS “If good taste would permit, we might easily mention scores of men, well known to the American people, who climbed to great heights of achievement under the stimulating influence of their wives, only to drop back to destruction AFTER money and power went to their heads, and they put aside the old wife for a new one.”
Excerpt From: Hill, Napoleon. “Think and Grow Rich.”
- LOVE IS…“It’s unloving to keep truth from people, especially if that truth has eternal consequences.” — F. Turek
- “SMART” PHONE? “There’s more code and sophisticated nanomachinery in just one of your forty trillion cells than in your smartphone and probably every other gadget you own. If the code and nanomachinery in your smartphone requires intelligence, wouldn’t the far superior technology inside of you also require intelligence?”
Excerpt From: Turek, Frank. “Stealing from God.
- BACKSLIDING KIDS?
Q: “How do you interpret Proverbs 22:6 (KJV), which says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it”? Doesn’t that verse mean, as it implies, that the children of wise and dedicated Christian parents will never be lost?”
A: The Proverbs were never intended to be absolute promises from God. Instead, they are “probabilities” of things that are likely to occur. Solomon, who wrote the wonderful book of Proverbs, was the wisest man on the earth at that time. His purpose was to convey his divinely inspired observations on the way human nature and God’s universe work. A given set of circumstances can be expected to produce a set of specific consequences. Unfortunately, several of these observations, including Proverbs 22:6, have been lifted out of that context and made to stand alone as promises from God. If we insist on that interpretation, then we must explain why so many other proverbs do not inevitably prove accurate. For example:
“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth” (10:4). (Have you ever met a diligent—but poor—Christian? I have.)
“The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it” (10:22).
“The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short” (10:27). (I have watched some beautiful children die with a Christian testimony on their lips.)
“No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble” (12:21).
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (15:22).
“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life” (16:31).
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord” (16:33).
“A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life” (28:16).
We can all think of exceptions to the statements above.
Those who believe that Proverbs 22:6 offers a guarantee of salvation for the next generation have assumed, in essence, that a child can be programmed so thoroughly as to determine his course inevitably. If they bring him up “in the way he should go,” the outcome is certain. But think about that for a moment. Didn’t the Creator handle Adam and Eve with infinite wisdom and love? He made no mistakes in “fathering” them. God in His love gave Adam and Eve a choice between good and evil, and they abused it. Will He now withhold that same freedom from your children? No. Ultimately, they will make their own choices.”
Excerpt From: Dobson, James. “Your Legacy.”
- HOW BIG CHANGE HAPPENS “Strange, is it not, how the great changes, such as the American Revolution, and the World War, often have their beginnings in circumstances which seem unimportant? It is interesting, also, to observe that these important changes usually begin in the form of a DEFINITE DECISION in the minds of a relatively small number of people.”
Excerpt From: Hill, Napoleon. “Think and Grow Rich.”
- FEARING GOD “He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him” (Psalm 147:10–11). In this passage, fear doesn’t mean shaking in your boots or being scared. This fear is standing in awe of who God is, knowing His power and respecting it to the point of total obedience to Him. God promises us that if we fear Him, He will be pleased with us.
Excerpt From: Lee, Richard. “In God We Still Trust: A 365-Day Devotional.”
- NOT SURE? [When asked, “How can you believe in a God you cannot fully explain?”] ANS: “We need to grasp that it is not only believers in God who believe in concepts they do not fully understand. Scientists do as well. It would be just as foolish and arbitrary to dismiss believers in God as having nothing to say, because they cannot ultimately explain the nature of God, as it would be to dismiss physicists because they do not know what energy is. And yet that is exactly what often happens.”
Excerpt From: John C. Lennox. “Against the Flow.”
- PERSONALITY “A well-developed sense of humor reveals a well-balanced personality. Maladjusted people show a far greater tendency to miss the point in a funny remark. They take jokes personally. They take things that are meant to be enjoyable much too seriously. The ability to get a laugh out of everyday situations is a safety valve. It rids us of tensions and worries that could otherwise damage our health.
You think I’m exaggerating the benefits? If so, maybe you’ve forgotten another proverb: “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Prov. 17:22). Isn’t that eloquent? Literally, it says, “A joyful heart causes healing.
Excerpt From: Charles R. Swindoll. “Dear Graduate.”