It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness

I used a close form
of this in my newspaper column this week, but it is very appropriate her as
well. In today’s world
almost every day we hear or see in print or on television where someone is
lashing out against someone else because they don’t agree with them. Often
folks complain about the evil deeds and darkness in the world. All of that
bothers me too. A lot.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

This proverbial saying
has been utilized by numerous authors and leadership experts. John C. Maxwell,
Zig Ziglar, Jack Canfield, Ryan C. Lowe, Anthony Robbins, and numerous others
have used it in books. Then there was Coach Vince Lombardi who latched on to
it. In fact, it has become one of the most oft-quoted proverbs of modern times. It has been quoted repeatedly by sales organizations to emphasize the
importance of knowing one’s product or service ‘inside out’ before attempting
to present it to prospective buyers.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is week

This cliché is
taken directly from the Bible, from
the words of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane the night of his arrest when he
found the disciples sleeping when he had told them to sit and wait while he
went to pray. The passage appears in the parallel Gospels in Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:36, the latter being an exact quote of the last portion in
the King James Version, 1611:

 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into
temptation. The spirit is willing, but
the flesh is weak.”

It is used when
someone has expressed good intentions and failed to follow through. Even as soldiers
in the army of the King of Kings, there are times when we fail. In order to
better serve our Savior we need the encouragement and fellowship of our brothers
and sisters.

Move heaven and earth

This hyperbolic idiom means to do everything in one’s power to make something happen. A major online dictionary states that this term was ‘first recorded in 1792.’ Actually they are almost 150 years late. The earliest citation in print is in The History of the Government of France: Under the Administration of the Great Armand Du Plesis, Cardinal and Duke of Richlieu and Chief Minister of State of that Kingdome, 1657:                                                                                                                                            “…we are come to wonder at the blindneffe of Grandees, who turmoil themfelves in extremity, who move heaven and earth by their broils, and all for thofe things, which death, and the inconftancy of humane affairs caufe to vanifh in a moment.”

As soldiers in
the army of the King of Kings, we know that God is the only one able to move
heaven and earth. We also know that as his earthly band of brothers, He has
given us the power to call upon Him to do so. “Prayer is the key to heaven and
faith unlocks the door.”

Each day we have
new opportunities to put on the whole armor of God and use the Sword of the
Spirit to move mountains for others.

It is more blessed to give than to receive

We live in a
world in which many people care only for themselves and their families. Some
don’t care who they have to step on, figuratively speaking, to get ahead and
make it to the “top of the ladder.”

Although the
gospels don’t quote Jesus as saying this, per se, Luke, in his later history of
the church, the book of the Acts of the
Apostles, does. It is found in Acts 20:35. The most usually quoted
version of the entire verse is from the Authorized
King James Version of 1611:

have showed you all things, how that so laboring you ought to support the weak,
and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Jesus said that
in order to be His true followers we must show love to everyone, even our
enemies. He taught that peace of mind comes from sharing His blessings with
those in need, both spiritually and financially.

Heap coals of fire on someone’s head

This idiom now refers to making a special effort to
induce guilt or remorse on another person. But we need to look at the origin
and its purpose. It comes directly from the Bible. The text most usually quoted is in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, 12:20:

“Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.”

Actually, King Solomon, said to be the wisest man of
his day, wrote this in Proverbs 25:22
hundreds of years earlier, with St.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today

Maybe I should have saved this one until the 4th of July because of it’s origin, but it was just on my mind this morning. This is a warning against procrastination. Good intentions rarely reach fruition. It is a quote from third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson (April 17, 1743—July 4, 1826), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, who died on the fiftieth anniversary of U.S. Independence Day. Christians are not
unlike others when it comes to procrastination.

Where there’s a will there’s a way

I am
planning on using this old proverb in my local newspaper column soon, and I
thought it would be appropriate here as well. It’s one
my mama “told me a hundred times if she told me once!” She wanted to make sure
I never gave up on something that I needed or wanted to do even when it seemed
like it was impossible. It goes right along with “If at first you don’t succeed
try, try again!” And it has been in use for a long, long time. The
earliest reference to a version of it is in Jacula Prudentum, or Outlandish
Proverbs and Sentences by George Herbert in 1640; it is number 730: 

      “To him that will, wais are not wanting. William C. Hazlitt used our modern version in New Monthly Magazine published in London in February 1822:

“Where there’s a will,
there’s a way.—I said so to myself, as I walked down Chancery-lane…to
inquire…where the fight the next day was to be.”

In the 20th century there are plenty of examples including this
citation in Good Night Little Spy by
German-born Canadian author Eric Koch in 1979:

      “I’ve no idea how it
can be done.

Forgive and forget

We have all been
told that we should not hold grudges. But for many this seems easier said than
done. This saying
itself, in reverse, was first coined in English by Shakespeare in King Lear written between 1603 and 1606,
and published in 1608:

     “Pray you now, forget and forgive.”

Then used by Miguel
de Cervantes in El Ingenioso hidalgo don
Quixote de la Mancha, first published in Spanish also in the early 17th
century, (1605, 1615) and translated into English shortly thereafter (1612,
“Let us forget and forgive

The roots of
this saying, however, come from the Bible. Forgiving is a command of Jesus found in Matthew

“For if ye
forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

It goes on to
tell us that God will not forgive those who are not forgiving of others.

Money can’t buy happiness

In this world so
much emphasis has been put on monetary wealth that a person’s worth and success
is often gauged by how much money and possessions they have accumulated. Even
some religious groups have claimed that this is a sign of God’s blessings. No truer proverb
has ever been coined than “Money can’t buy happiness.” Genuine contentment and
peace of mind must come from spiritual means. The root came from Rousseau’s Discours in Spain in 1750.     
“Money buys everything, except morality and citizens.”

The Bible makes
it clear that our hearts must not be set on riches, and that a rich man can’t
enter into the kingdom of God.