Apothegms and Observations XXXVII

  1. It is often unhealthy to overseek comfort, but it is not unhealthy to overseek the comfort of Christ.
  2. With a nod to Pastor Smith, there is only one healthy fear—the fear of God.
  3. Intelligence is a valuable thing, but is morally neutral. It has never been a virtue. Prudence, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are the virtues.
  4. From what I have seen, Buddhism probably provides the best life a profound and modern atheist could hope for, and is close to nihilism.
  5. I have seen several young men pass the offering plate at Presbyterian churches, and I did it myself when I was 19. I had not even officially joined my church at that time. But I have never seen a woman have this honor. Why is this so?
  6. Paradoxically, the path to diligence runs through the fields of contentment.
  7. If a person is mature, then others will occasionally be offended by that person, but those occasions will be rare.
  8. What someone thinks about any particular thing is always a reflection on them, and sometimes a reflection on that thing.
  9. If your beliefs have been shown to be wrong, change your beliefs. If your beliefs have not been shown to be wrong, don’t change your beliefs. It is surprising how difficult it is to follow this advice.
  10. In the end, there is no such thing as righteous anger at God. Yet, there is a time to speak this and a time to keep silent.
  11. Peace doesn’t mean being dead inside. True peace does not lack energy or motion.
  12. There are three enemies: Satan, the world, and the flesh. None are to be ignored, none are to be overemphasized, none are to be a source of fear or hopelessness.
  13. Regular stout meals go a long way for mental health.
  14. I really don’t know much. Much of my mind is distracted by petty things. I just know that art is deep inside the purpose of life, that I want you to find peace and happiness, and that we all ought to talk often of Jesus.
  15. The mature man loses neither mirth nor reverence, neither joy nor compassion.
  16. There is much empty talk in the world.
  17. “Only God can judge me.” I agree, and what a wonderful truth it is! But, do not forget that He will.
  18. I have found that it is far easier to decry a bad thing than it is to praise a good thing.
  19. Just because something throws off our day and is horribly annoying does not mean that that thing is bad.
  20. This world is forever fascinating.
  21. A witticism without a system is valuable, but a witticism that has a system behind it is more valuable.
  22. I do not despair of systems.
  23. Specificity is Satan’s bane. He prefers us to be vague in our words, because deception can be easily hidden in vagueness.
  24. The man who can be both bold and meek at the same time is to be imitated.
  25. The very same sin that yesterday you found unbearable in someone else, you will find deep in your soul tomorrow.
  26. Sad is the one who doesn’t know that mischief is jolly.
  27. A community that lacks a blithe mischief-maker is lacking something good.
  28. There is rarely mirth without mischief, and there is rarely profound Christianity without mirth.
  29. If a home-cooked meal is to be altogether delightful, it must have five qualities. It must be cheap, easy to make, nutritious, filling, and tasty.
  30. It is telling that the Christian world uses the word “counseling” while the secular world uses the word “therapy.” One is about speaking the answers we need to hear, while the other is about coping.
  31. The mark of a great saying is that those who disagree will still grow in their understanding by hearing it.

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