Where the children’s story is simply the right form for what the author has to say, then of course readers who want to hear that will read the story or re-read it, at an age. I never met The Wind in the Willows or the Bastable books till I was in my late twenties, and I do not think I have enjoyed them any the less on that account. I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story. The good ones last. A waltz which you can like only when you are waltzing is a bad waltz.
From On Stories
On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature. Copyright © 1982, 1966 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.
In the Old Testament, what did weavers, artists, tentmakers, carpenters, and ship captains—among others—have in common? They all possessed wisdom. More accurately, they possessed skill. The Hebrew word for wisdom is the word for skill. So, as a craftsman built the tabernacle with skill, Proverbs teaches us to build a life with skill.
Recommended Reading: Psalm 33:11; Isaiah 40:8
What is skill (wisdom) in living? Proverbs 9:10 says it begins with “the fear of the Lord.” From there, it means living life from God’s perspective. Understanding His ways, values, plans, expectations, and methods. Most people spend their life searching for true happiness; the book of Proverbs says that happiness comes from finding wisdom, and wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. God is eternal; knowing Him means eternal happiness (Psalm 16:11). Only God, His Word, and His counsel will stand forever (Psalm 33:11; Isaiah 40:8). Like the grass and flowers, everything else will fade away.
What is your source of happiness today? Is it temporary or eternal? Find wisdom and happiness in your relationship with God.
The kind of wisdom that God waits to give to those who ask him is a wisdom that will bind us to himself.
J. I. Packer
Read through the Bible: 1 Corinthians 5 – 9
The Only Conscience-Cleanser
By John Piper
How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9:14)
Here we are in the modern age — the age of the Internet, smart phones, space travel, and heart transplants — and our problem is fundamentally the same as always: Our consciences condemn us and make us feel unacceptable to God. We are alienated from God. And our consciences bear witness.
We can cut ourselves, or throw our children in the sacred river, or give a million dollars to charity, or serve in a soup kitchen, or a hundred forms of penance or self-injury, and the result will be the same: The stain remains and death terrifies.
We know that our conscience is defiled — not with external things like touching a corpse, a dirty diaper, or a piece of pork. Jesus said it is what comes out of a man that defiles, not what goes in (Mark 7:15–23). We are defiled by attitudes like pride and self-pity and bitterness and lust and envy and jealousy and covetousness and apathy and fear.
The only answer in this modern age, as in every other age, is the blood of Christ. When your conscience rises up and condemns you, where will you turn? Hebrews 9:14 gives you the answer: “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”
The answer is: Turn to the blood of Christ. Turn to the only cleansing agent in the universe that can give you relief in life, and peace in death.
Look at Me
Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?
The toxic combination of comparison, greed, and a sense of entitlement obliterates kindness and love. It is evident in families torn apart during the executing of a loved one’s will.
In one parable Jesus describes a landowner who hired workers throughout the day. When it came time to pay them, each worker received the same pay, regardless of when they were hired. The workers who had been there the longest complained the loudest. Their sideways glances at what others received left them ungrateful and full of complaints.
Recommended Reading: Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus longs to free us from the poison of comparison. “Look at Me,” He gently reminds us. If we use others as a barometer of our success, we will never be satisfied. The greatest gift He gives each of us is Himself. When we realize this, the possessions of this world stop possessing our souls. We are free to give and receive love.
Jesus calls us to His rest, and meekness is His method. The meek man cares not at all who is greater than he, for he has long ago decided that the esteem of the world is not worth the effort.
Read through the Bible: 1 Corinthians 1 – 4