Character

Nothing Like a Millionaire: For What Are You Known?

By M.R. Conrad. Reposted from Rooted Thinking.

William Borden was famous.1 His parents were millionaires. They were prominent members of the Moody Church in Chicago. The newspapers of the early 1900s reported on young Borden’s activities. Every door of opportunity swung open for this privileged youth.

However, those who knew him at Yale and then at Princeton saw a very different picture. Borden worked hard and served others. He shared the gospel with the poor. One classmate wrote, “No one would have known from Borden’s life and talk that he was a millionaire … but no one could have helped knowing that he was a Christian and alive for missions.”2 That passion defined him more than the life into which he had been born.

The easy route was open, but Borden chose the hard path. In 1913 at age twenty-five, Borden sailed for Egypt. After a few months of training, he planned to head to western China to take the gospel to the Muslims. Though Borden unexpectedly died of meningitis in Cairo, he is now remembered as a missionary hero, known not for what he possessed but for what he gave up to serve Christ.3

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From the Archives – The Proverbial Fool and the Importance of Avoiding Him

Scripture is clear—Proverbs in particular—that there are such things as fools and these individuals are nothing but trouble. We shouldn’t be in their company more than necessary—much less, put important responsibilities in their hands.

Though the English word “fool” appears 60 to 65 times in most English versions of Proverbs, the book doesn’t offer a concise definition. That leaves us with some ambiguity. How many of the traits of fools does someone have to have to be rightly classified as a fool? Are we supposed to take the qualities of fools only as way to gauge the degree of foolishness?

Though we’re all foolish at times, the fool is consistently spoken of in Proverbs as belonging to a distinct category. There may be degrees of severity, but either someone is a fool, or he isn’t.

It’s probably best to approach the question of who’s a fool sort of like a disease: how many symptoms do you have to have in order to be diagnosed as having, say, rabies? Though I’m often a little photo-phobic, cranky, and confused, the probability remains low that I’m rabid. On the other hand, if somebody has six of the usual symptoms of rabies but is not oversensitive to light, probability remains high that they’re infected.

The more symptoms, the more confident the diagnosis, and you don’t need all of them to be pronounced a fool.

A high-level summary of Proverbs’ take on fools:

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Beauty Can Teach Us the Art of Living Well

"[T]oday a belief even in the possibility that there are things we can identify as good falls prey to cynicism. Culture reflects this. Across the dizzying variety of digital entertainment media, one constant holds: we live in the era of the 'complex' protagonist, characters whose stories lean toward a kind of benevolent moral ambiguity at best. At worst, they advance the notion that only evil is interesting, while the good is either dull and boring or, worse, a mask for imposing our will on others." - Public Discourse

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Leadership Lessons from Daniel

Reconstruction of Nebuchadnezzar's Ishtar Gate (Pergamon Museum in Berlin)

Of all the great characters found on the pages of Holy Scripture, none—outside, of course, of our Lord Jesus Christ—serves as a greater example to us than the prophet Daniel.

Transported to Babylon in the first wave of the captivity of Judah in 605 B.C., Daniel’s life was upended at an early age. This could have been an excuse for him to abandon any ties to his people and his God. He was taken to a strange land, given a new name and offered all the worldly comforts available in the king’s court (Dan. 1:7-10).

There he remained for more than 70 years, enduring the launches of two world empires and serving under seven world leaders.

But Daniel took the opportunity—not to blend in, but to stand out. He believed that God had not forsaken him, but rather promoted him. They had taken the boy out of Jerusalem, but they could not take Jerusalem out of the boy (e.g., Dan. 9:21).

And the Lord rewarded Daniel for His faithfulness. Interestingly, the man who received the final prophetic revelation of the New Testament was the Apostle John—“the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 21:20). Daniel is often regarded as the counterpart to John within the Hebrew Bible, as the one who received the highest understanding of the prophetic future in the days before the coming of Christ. He, too, was a “man greatly beloved” (Dan. 10:11).

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“Humbly is the way we should walk.”

"There are two kinds of walking, of going on a journey. The first kind is typified by an elevator ride.... the experience is all about getting where you’re going. It’s not about the journey. But there’s another kind of journey. It’s best typified by lovers going for a walk....Nobody cares where we’re going; we’re just going for a walk." - Dan Olinger

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“For many in contemporary American life, no matter their politics or religion, ‘kindness’ is equated with weakness.”

"In his letter to his protégé Timothy, the apostle Paul declared: 'Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness' (2 Timothy 2:23-24)." - Russell Moore

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