Mandy’s Pearls of Wisdom
We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.
George Bernard Shaw
I consider the posts I share with you every day as “Mandy’s Pearls of Wisdom”! Now that should not serve as an announcement that I am wise nor should you all think that I necessarily have all of the answers to those questions you might have related to faith. What I do try to accomplish every day is to share the changes that have been taking place within my own heart these last months with you, and if you just happen to read something that hits close to home for you and causes you to want to change your own behaviors in some way, well then I must thank you but I must also offer to you one caveat. Faith and the choices we make related to the things we feel about God, are incredibly personal. My choices and decisions may not work for you in exactly the same way, and that is just fine as long as what they are doing is urging you to ask not just the right questions but to also willingly seek out the answers to those questions, as well! But “caveat emptor”, which is Latin for “let the buyer beware”. Change is never easy!
A quick story if I may. There was once a man who started life as a slave, but who, with the freedom he attained, began a journey, first in Rome and then in Greece, teaching philosophy. His name was Epictetus and that name has become synonymous with the phrase “Pearls of Wisdom”. The first, and perhaps the most impactful, of his “Pearls” is the following: “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” I have had that “Pearl” handed to me “up front and personal” over the last 18 months. I have been told that my grasp of all things religious is woefully lacking and that I am a self-seeking opportunist who only desires attention and to promote myself. I believe nothing could be further from the truth but it supports the position that when you seek to change the things that everyone else has come to know and expect from you, be prepared for resistance among some people in your life, especially those who live far away and who may not be able to actually witness with their own eyes, the wonderful new person you are becoming! However, do not forget that while it is nice when others do understand and accept these efforts you are undertaking, the bottom line is this. Your transformations must please only two beings…..yourself and God!
Now another of the “Pearls” of Epictetus focuses on the fact that we choose how we will feel about 2 absolutes that are part of our lives….happiness and sadness. He describes our responses to both of these in the following ways:
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
- “I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?”
- “It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death.”
And just as Epictetus reinforces to us the degree with which we not just control but also how we view our lives in the way we approach the art of living, so does God share the things He expects of us through the reading of His very own “Pearls”. Found within the pages of His handbook, the Bible, God lets us know how He hopes we will answer some of those things we say to ourselves every day. And with His answers to those things, He is reinforcing to us the tremendous amount of faith that He has, that we are all capable of becoming the people He expects us to be!
God’s Pearls of Wisdom
You say: “It’s impossible” God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27)
You say: “I’m too tired” God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30)
You say: “Nobody really loves me” God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 3:34)
You say: “I can’t go on” God says: My grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)
You say: “I can’t figure things out” God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You say: “I can’t do it” God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13)
You say: “I’m not able” God says: I am able (2 Corinthians 9:8)
You say: “It’s not worth it” God says: It will be worth it (Romans 8:28)
You say: “I can’t forgive myself” God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)
You say: “I can’t manage” God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19)
You say: “I’m afraid” God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7)
You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated” God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7)
You say: “I’m not smart enough” God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30)
You say: “I feel all alone” God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
from firstname.lastname@example.org 09/20/12
12 But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? 13 No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living. 14 The deep says, “It is not in me”; the sea says, “It is not with me.” 15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed out in silver. 16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or lapis lazuli. 17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold. 18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies. 19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold.
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