Attitudes of the Christian


"Ships in harbor are safe," wrote John Shedd, "but that's not what ships are built for." We, too, are not built to stay in the safe harbors of life but to take some prudent risks, have some daring, take some chances. Theodore Roosevelt praised the man who "…if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

See: Psalms 37:24; Philippians 1:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:15-17; James 1:25

A man once found a five-dollar bill. After that he always looked down when he walked along the street. Over the course of the years, he found twelve hairpins, five paper clips, a ballpoint pen, one nickel, four pennies, and a very large assortment of gum wrappers. But during those years he never saw a flower, a tree, or the smile of a passing stranger. If we just look down at our problems, we will never succeed. We will be like the centipede who was doing fine until someone asked him which of his one hundred legs came after which. He'd never thought of that before. The more he thought about it, the more he couldn't remember, and he found he couldn't walk at all. Lift up your eyes!

See: Isaiah 40:26-29, Isaiah 51:6; John 4:35

Visitors to Rome all want to see the Piazza Navona with Bernini's great Fountain of the Four Rivers. Two of the figures have their arms cast across their eyes. Legend says Bernini did it to express his disdain for the work of Borromini in the Church of Saint Agnes. Returning the favor, Saint Agnes expresses her opinion of the fountain with her arms flung outward and her face turned away.

See: 1 Samuel 2:3; Isaiah 13:11; Matthew 5:44-48

Voltaire said that there are three things that are difficult: "To keep a secret, to suffer an injury, to use leisure." He was certainly right. And each of the three is a potential source of temptation. How hard it is to keep a confidence when the telling of it would be such pleasure! How hard it is to suffer an injury and neither complain nor strike back! And how poorly most of us use our leisure time.

See: Proverbs 12:26; Romans 13:14; Hebrews 2:18; 2 Timothy 2:22