No. 952



There is a wonderful verse in the Bible found in Proverbs 9:10 that says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One, is understanding.” The person who truly understands and applies this verse to life’s challenges is indeed wise, and this knowledge can serve as the foundation for a truly happy and successful life. One of the qualities that most often distinguish the person who is wise is the way he uses his native tongue or simply (now moving from the singular to plural) the way we speak. We all know people who can say more in five minutes than others can say in an hour.
A classic example of this took place back on Nov. 19, 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address. You know the one that begins, “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers ….” On that day, the famed orator Edward Everett had been selected as the principal speaker for the occasion to dedicate the battlefield at Gettysburg. After rising to his feet, he gave a two-hour speech prior to President Lincoln’s remarks. Following Everett’s address, the president’s text was a scant three paragraphs and took less than 10 minutes to deliver. When he finished he thought he was a failure. It was only later, after his remarks had been examined, that it was proclaimed to be one of the world’s great masterpieces, as literature and as a statement of democracy.
When this happens, and we see it often in our society today, the result is distilled wisdom -- or simply speaking the truth, saying a lot, and doing so in a relatively short period of time. Recently, a friend sent me a short document that contains 10 practical sayings that we can all use in our daily lives. Please allow me to share them and see if you don’t agree that they qualify as distilled wisdom.
No. 1 - Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel” that directs the right path throughout.
No. 2 - So why is a car’s windshield so large and the rear view mirror so small? It is because our past is not as important as our future. So, look ahead and move on.
No. 3 - Friendship is like a book. It takes only a few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.
No. 4 - All things in life are temporary. If it is going well, enjoy it, that won’t last long. If it’s going badly, don’t worry, that won’t last long either.
No. 5 - Old friends are gold! New friends are diamond! If you get a diamond, don’t forget the gold! Because to hold a diamond, you always need a base of gold!
No. 6 - Often when we have lost hope and think this is the end, God smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!
No. 7 – When God solves your problems, you have faith in His abilities; when God doesn’t solve your problems, He has faith in your abilities.
No. 8 – A blind person once asked St. Anthony, “Can there be anything worse than losing one’s eye sight? He replied, “Yes, losing your vision!”
No. 9 – When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them; sometimes when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.
No. 10 – Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace.
As we end our time today, I believe you will agree that these 10 practical and helpful sayings contain some distilled wisdom. A good habit to develop would be to always think before we speak or write, and express our thoughts in a more concise and meaningful way.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)