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
- WHO GOD CALLS “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.
Don’t let Satan convince you otherwise. He will try. He will tell you that God has an IQ requirement or an entry fee. That he employs only specialists and experts, governments and high-powered personalities. When Satan whispers such lies, dismiss him with this truth: God stampeded the first-century society with swaybacks, not thoroughbreds. Before Jesus came along, the disciples were loading trucks, coaching soccer, and selling Slurpee drinks at the convenience store. Their collars were blue, and their hands were calloused, and there is no evidence that Jesus chose them because they were smarter or nicer than the guy next door. The one thing they had going for them was a willingness to take a step when Jesus said, “Follow me.”
Excerpt From: Lucado, Max. “Outlive Your Life.”
- ACTIONS VS. MOTIVES “The solution to much of humanity’s problems, is this: We should judge actions—our own and those of others—not motives.
On the global level, assessing motives rather than actions has led to serious moral distortions. Take, for example, the differing assessments of capitalism and Communism.
Communism resulted in the loss of freedom by more nations, and the deaths of more individuals, than any other doctrine in history’. Yet because it was perceived by many people as emanating from good motives—abolishing poverty, achieving greater equality, etc.—many people refused to accord it the revulsion that its deeds deserved.
On the other hand, capitalism has enabled more people to experience freedom and prosperity than any other economic doctrine. It should therefore be widely admired. Yet it is often vilified. The reason? It is based on selfish motives—profit.
Defenses of Communism and opposition to capitalism have emanated from the same flawed logic—judging motives, not deeds.”
Excerpt From: Prager, Dennis. “Think a Second Time.”
- HAPPINESS “if you give to charity, research suggests that you’re more likely to report a higher level of happiness then less generous types; and people who spend money on experiences—vacations, scuba lessons, concerts—report higher levels of happiness than people who just buy things.”
Excerpt From: Belsky, Gary. “Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them.”
- GOD’S SOUP KITCHEN “God does not give us what we deserve. He has drenched his world in grace. It has no end. It knows no limits. It empowers this life and enables us to live the next. God offers second chances, like a soup kitchen offers meals to everyone who asks.
Excerpt From: Lucado, Max. “Outlive Your Life.”
- GREAT INHIBITOR “This is a hedonistic age, and we are encouraged on all sides to follow our desires, whatever they are – to “do our own thing”. God is represented as the Great Inhibitor, and people are encouraged to rid themselves of these “non-existent gods” that stifle human flourishing. The only limit on behavior is that which is set by the law of the land.”
Excerpt From: John C. Lennox. “Against the Flow.”
- WHY DECLINE? “THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is still the pinnacle nation in the world today. It is not, however, the first pinnacle nation to face a decline. Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Great Britain, France, and Spain all enjoyed their time at the top of the world, so to speak — in many cases, for several hundred years. Then, as they began to decline, they all experienced some peculiar similarities: an inordinate emphasis on sports and entertainment, a fixation with lifestyles of the rich and famous, political corruption, and the loss of a moral compass.
Excerpt From: Ben Carson, M.D. “America the Beautiful.”
- SORRY OFFICER “It was midnight after registration day at the college when the policeman noticed a couple in a lingering embrace in the campus parking lot. Mildly surprised at the scene before the school year had even begun, he approached the car.
“Sorry, officer,” the driver explained. “We just left our youngest son, our baby, there in the dorm. It’s the first time Mother and I have been alone for twenty-seven years.”
Excerpt From: Hodgin, Michael. “1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking.”
- YAWN “Yawning is a surprisingly powerful act. Just because you read the word “yawning” in the previous two sentences—and the two additional “yawns” in this sentence—a good number of you will probably yawn within the next few minutes. Even as I’m writing this, I’ve yawned twice. If you’re reading this in a public place, and you’ve just yawned, chances are that a good proportion of everyone who saw you yawn is now yawning too, and a good proportion of the people watching the people who watched you yawn are now yawning as well, and on and on, in an ever-widening, yawning circle.”
Excerpt From: Gladwell, Malcolm. “The Tipping Point.”
- MEN “Masculinity, first and foremost, ought to be defined in terms of relationships,” Joe said. “It ought to be taught in terms of the capacity to love and to be loved. If you look over your life at the end of it … life wouldn’t be measured in terms of success based on what you’ve acquired or achieved or what you own. The only thing that’s really going to matter is the relationships that you had. It’s gonna come down to this: What kind of father were you? What kind of husband were you? What kind of coach or teammate were you? What kind of son were you? What kind of brother were you? What kind of friend were you? Success comes in terms of relationships.
And I think the second criterion—the only other criterion for masculinity—is that all of us ought to have some kind of cause, some kind of purpose in our lives that’s bigger than our own individual hopes, dreams, wants, and desires. At the end of our life, we ought to be able to look back over it from our deathbed and know that somehow the world was a better place because we lived, we loved, we were other-centered, other-focused.”
Excerpt From: Marx, Jeffrey. “Season of Life.”
- MERCY JOB “Now to have an honest and lawful employment, in which you do not dishonour God in benefiting yourselves, is no small mercy. But if it is not only lawful in itself, but suited to your genius and strength, there is a double mercy in it. Some poor creatures are engaged in callings that eat up their time and strength, and make their lives very uncomfortable to them. They have not only consuming and wasting employments in the world, but such as allow them little or no time for their general calling, and yet all this does but keep them and theirs alive. Therefore, if God has fitted you with an honest employment in which you have less toil than others, and more time for heavenly exercises, ascribe this benefit to the special care of Providence for you.”
Excerpt From: Flavel, John. “The Mystery of Providence.”