[In tribute to Walter Cronkite, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday, today.]

“Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.” — Walter Cronkite

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[This week’s Words of Wisdom and Quote of the Week are given in tribute to the third President of The United States, Thomas Jefferson, on his birthday (13 April 1743)]

“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truth without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.” — Thomas Jefferson

 

Sir John Dalberg-Acton, aka Lord Acton, famously posited, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  Moreover, he added, “Great men are almost always bad men.”  To be sure, Lord Acton’s claim is bearish, even to the pessimist.  In these remarks, the baron affords us very little hope – might we call it an “eye of the needle(s)” chance – of rising to power without forsaking our virtue.  Well, if he is right, the obvious question is:  Why?  Why is it so difficult for one to attain power without succumbing to – its power?

It’s a common theme, is it not?  We rise, and we fall.  Countless authors, artists, composers, filmmakers, etc., have captured the torment, isolation, and exile that hounds the mighty, the powerful, amidst their nosedive into the abyss.  Given the fact – can we call it that? – this is so common, why have we permitted history to repeat itself?  Why do we acquiesce?  Is power simply too powerful for man to bridle?  Is it the ‘bronc that won’t be broke’?  Or, is it, perhaps, that we haven’t taken the right approach?  What do we need to control, or check power?  I submit, wisdom.  But not just any wisdom.  Source matters.

I found an answer, where I often do:  my Bible.

Who is wise and understanding among you?  Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.  Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.  For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.  [James 3:13-18]

The following is an excerpt from a Charles Spurgeon devotional he wrote in summation of Matthew 15:21-28 – The Faith of the Canaanite Woman.  A dear friend of mine shared the quote (below) and I located and read the entire devotional piece at:

http://www.heartlight.mobi/view.php?resource=se&date=0327&dateformat=md

If you have a few moments, I would recommend you read the entire piece, as well as, Matthew 15:21-28, for context.

This is the royal road to comfort.  Great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair;  but great thoughts of Christ will pilot you into the haven of peace.

These are wise words, spoken/written by a wise man.  Spurgeon reminds us Christ has unimaginable power in overcoming anything we might consider impossible.  After all, Christ overcame The Cross.  We often quote from scripture (i.e. Philippians 4:13) “I can do everything through (H)im who gives me strength,” but perhaps we sometimes forget, He can do all things!

Have faith, my friends, in Jesus.  At your lowest point, seek Him in the midst of your darkness, for He is nigh.  Think “great thoughts of Christ.”

These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.  — Thomas Paine