“All generalizations are false, including this one,” yet we keep making them. We create images—graven ones that can’t be changed; we dismiss or accept people, products, programs, and propaganda according to the labels they come under; we know a little about something, and we treat it as though we know everything.
—Elisabeth Elliot in All That Was Ever Ours
The Infinite Goodness has such wide arms that it takes whatever turns to it.
—Dante in Purgatorio
The peril of compromise
The question is, do you compromise yourself slightly to gain more exposure for the gospel message? But, in doing so, have you then watered down the truth and made it half-truth—which makes it into a lie? That’s a real concern. Jesus asked his followers to choose the narrow way, but he added, “If you follow me, don’t be surprised if the world hates you.”
—Steve Camp, quoted by Bob Darden in Billboard (April 20, 1991)
Practice makes perfect
What was Christ doing in the carpenter’s shop? Practicing. Though perfect, we read that he learned obedience and grew in wisdom and in favor with God. Do not quarrel therefore with your lot in life. Do not complain of its never-ceasing cares, its petty environment, the vexations you have to stand, the small and sordid souls you have to live and work with. Above all, do not resent temptation; do not be perplexed because it seems to thicken around you more and more, and ceases neither for effort nor for agony nor prayer. That is your practice. That is the practice which God appoints you; and it is having its work in making you patient and humble and generous and unselfish and kind and courteous.
—Henry Drummond, quoted in Riches for the Mind and Spirit
Better than tennis
In rearing their children, the [Luis] Palaus emphasized not only learning about life in other nations, but helping to make a difference. When possible, Pat and the children traveled with Luis on his evangelistic campaigns.
“Traveling with your children to the Third World is expensive, but it may be more important to them than tennis lessons,” she said.
—From a profile of Pat Palau in Compassion Update (March/April 1991)
Peace with God
Without justification it is impossible to have real peace. Conscience forbids it. Sin is a mountain between a man and God, and must be taken away. The sense of guilt lies heavy on the heart and must be removed. Unpardoned sin will murder peace. The true Christian knows all this well. His peace arises from a consciousness of his sins being forgiven, and his guilt being put away.… He has peace with God, because he is justified.
—J. C. Ryle in Foundations of Faith
When I was a little girl my mother would often say to me, “Edith, I know just who you’ve been playing with today.” She knew because I had become something like the other little girl, whichever one it was, enough like her that the girl could be identified by my changed accent, my mannerisms, and other telltale changes. Children often copy other children quite unconsciously. So do adults. We are affected by the people we spend time with, in one way or another. God makes clear to us that not only is it sin to bow down to idols and worship or serve them, but that there is an effect which follows very definitely. People who worship idols become like them.
—Edith Schaeffer in The Art of Life
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