Real Joy

The Bible talks plentifully about joy, but it nowhere talks about a "happy Christian." Happiness depends on what happens; joy does not. Remember, Jesus Christ had joy, and He prays "that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves."

—Oswald Chambers in
Run Today's Race

The Source of Joy

Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure, while any ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally comes from things, and always through the senses; happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent, like a flash of lightning. Joy is steady and abiding, like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances, such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them, for it comes from a good conscience and love of God.

—Fulton J. Sheen in
Fulton J. Sheen's Guide to Contentment

What We Say Matters

I once shared a platform with the nearly blind theologian Joseph Sittler, a man who really saw, and heard. He was asked, "If you had to reduce a call for reformation of the church to one sentence, what would it say?" His answer: "Watch your language." The rest—including action for justice—follows language, speech, encouragement, judgment, and the like.

—Martin Marty in
Context, April 15, 1998

The Church's Role

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.

—Martin Luther King, Jr., in
Strength to Love

Beyond Easy

As far as God is revealed in the Bible, there is nothing at all that gives credence to that sentimental, undemanding attitude that says life should be easy and accommodating. Nothing I've read in scripture seems to have that attitude, so I think it's rather strange that some clergy try to pretend that it should. To my radical mode of thinking, at least at the moment … the whole point of a religion is to aim at the very highest and most demanding of qualities rather than the easiest. Otherwise, it's not worth bothering with.

—Arthur Wills in
The American Organist(Oct. 1998)

Impoverished by Too Much

We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.

—Winston Churchill in
a lecture (Feb. 3, 1932)

Actions Matter

Though one may be a competent art critic without ever having handled a brush or a chisel, and may legitimately pass judgment upon a book which one could not have written oneself, in the life of the soul there are no such privileges: there is no knowledge at all unless it is also and equally action, and if it is not that, then it is worse than ignorance.

—John Baillie in
A Diary of Blessing

But Money Talks

If you want to know what we learned in 25 words or less, giving is down because we don't love God as much as we love a lot of other stuff.

—Researcher Sylvia Ronsvalle in
Salt of the Earth(July/August 1997)

Blind to the Shadows

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.

—Attributed to Helen Keller in
One Thousand Sayings of History

Kind Is Better

When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people. Now I admire kind people.

—Abraham Heschel, quoted in
Another Country, by Mary Pipher

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.