Silence Isn't Golden
At times one hesitates to reprove or admonish evil-doers, either because one seeks a more favorable moment or fears his rebuke might make them worse, and further, discourage weak brethren from seeking to lead a good and holy life, or turn them aside from the faith. In such circumstances forebearance is not prompted by selfish considerations but by well advised charity. What is reprehensible, however, is that while leading good lives themselves and abhorring those of wicked men, some, fearing to offend, shut their eyes to evil deeds instead of condemning them and pointing out their malice. To be sure, the motive behind their malice is that they may suffer no hurt in the possession of those temporal goods which virtuous and blameless men may lawfully enjoy; still there is more self-seeking here than becomes men who are mere sojourners in this world and who profess the hope of a home in heaven.
-Saint Augustine in
City of God
Faith That Is Real
If our faith is something that really does not make a very big difference, if it is actually not crucial that we or others believe, no wonder it seems boring to some of our young. Anything we don't care much about can't be very interesting.
The things we do care about, however, we inevitably talk about . …
If faith is real, it seeks expression. It will communicate and profess. It will have the energy of passion.
-John F. Kavanaugh in
The Word Encountered
Modern mankind can go anywhere, do everything and be completely curious about the universe. But only a rare person now and then is curious enough to want to know God.
-A. W. Tozer in
Renewed Day by Day
Speaking With Forked Tongue
We as a nation too often lack integrity, which might be described, in a loose and colloquial way, as the courage of one's convictions.
We, the people of the United States, who a little over 200 years ago ordained and established the Constitution, have a serious problem: too many of us nowadays neither mean what we say nor say what we mean. Moreover, we hardly expect anybody else to mean what they say either.
-Stephen L. Carter in
Prayer is the plumb line that finds its rest in the place where our hearts beat in rhythm with the heart of God. Scripture is the weight that propels the plumb line's fall.
-Wendy M. Wright in
Weavings (July/Aug. 1996)
Something Better Than Happiness
There is in man a higher than love of happiness; he can do without happiness, and instead thereof find blessedness.
-Thomas Carlyle in
Sartor Resartus, II
When God Seems Distant
As the farthest reach of our love for each other is loving our enemies, as the farthest reach of God's love for us is loving us at our most unlovable and unlovely, so the farthest reach of our love for God is loving him when in almost every way that matters we can neither see him nor hear him … when the worst of the wilderness for us is the fear that he has forsaken us if indeed he exists at all.
-Frederick Buechner in
A Room Called Remember
When we eat out, most of us expect to tip the waiter or waitress 15 percent. When we suggest 10 percent as a minimum church offering, some folks are aghast.
-Felix A. Lorenz, Jr.,
in Holy Humor
God Knows Who We Really Are
He has great tranquility and peace of heart who does not regard praise or blame, and he will soon be at peace and content who has a good conscience. You are not the better because you are praised, or the worse because you are blamed, for as you are, you are, and whatever is said of you, you are no better than Almighty God, the Searcher of men's hearts, will testify that you are.
-Thomas è Kempis in
The Imitation of Christ
Watch Your Step
Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.
-Emily Brontë, quoted in
Copyright © 1996 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Last Updated: October 10, 1996
Find hope and historical insight. For a limited time, explore 60+ years of CT archives for free!
- Daily devotions from Timothy Dalrymple during this pandemic.
- Hundreds of theology and spiritual formation classics from Philip Yancey, Elisabeth Elliot, John Stott, and more.
- Thought journalism that inspires you to think more deeply about your faith.
- Learn more