Saturday, June 13, 2009

I was reading a sermon by Henry Ward Beecher, one of America's finest preachers of the 19th century, and the following six posts are excerpts from this sermon directed to young men and women, but applies to me as well. I will be sharing these with my grandchildren, piece by piece over the next few months.

“One of the things I would say to the young, both men and women, is in the homely form of a proverb – “Every one should be willing to creep before he walks.” This does not seem to be a very important thing; and yet, it is of exceeding importance. There is hardly a young man that goes from his father’s house who does not want money before he earns it. He does want to walk before he can creep. There is hardly a young man that goes out into life who does not want the reputation of being smart before he is smart. There is a hardly a single circle in which you see half a dozen young men, that do not see them aping something; making believe; “putting on airs,” as the saying is. They wish to have the appearance of a bravery, a position, or something else, which they have not attained. They are not willing to creep before they walk. The very beginning of life develops a tendency in men to false appearances; to insincerity; to an estimation which is radically unmanly; to a desire to have what does not belong to them – what they have no right to claim by reason of anything that they are, or that they have been. To be without pretense; to desire to have only that which you can legitimately lay claim to, of praise, of sympathy, of reputation, of means – to have a manly pride, by which you shall be the factor of that which is in your won possession – that is thoroughly salutary. An honest manhood scorns pretense and appearances. These are the signs of unripeness, not only, but they are vicious, bad signs in a child.”

Photo from the Internet


Trudy said...

How true is this? I think it is just a product of our culture these have to want more, be more, have more and just generally be something we are not! We couldn't possibly satisfy the masses by just giving everyone what we are, it always has to be bigger and better. I think though, that for the young man or woman that would walk before creeping, they would be blessed with self-assuredness, confidence and happiness!

I am so happy you are sharing this with your grandchildren...they will undoubtedly be blessed!

God bless you on this day!

Mel said...

Oh, dear.... This does not bode well for our culture, does it? I can think of only a handful of people, children, teens and adults alike, that don't illustrate the sad truth represented in this post. I pray that God will use those of us whose eyes He has opened to these realities, to bring about much-needed change in our homes, relationships and circles of influence.

God bless you, Fred! :)

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

It is true that when young people pretend to know everything they are not going to learn anything and they will get into serious trouble often. Humility, open mindedness and willingness to learn are very important to gain wisdom and knowledge.


Very interesting and useful post with a lovely photo.

Have a nice day Fred:0

FCB said...

Hi Trudy,
your comment - "We couldn't possibly satisfy the masses by just giving everyone what we are", made me think of people that live simple lives and how I enjoy talking with them and usually leave inspired to live life more simply. I find that in older people most often. I guess they have learned to appreciate who they are without pretension, it is a wonderful quality don't you think?
God bless,

So true, and I see this within the church, we are bombarded with so much information, good advice, scriptural admonitions, that we feel like we must live up to it all today or we are a failure! But I am reminded of the scripture, "line upon line, precept upon precept", that gives me hope.
God bless,

Hi Joseph,
Yes, it is hard to learn when we are always talking, a fault many young people fall to. Again, we live in such an information age that we expect too much of ourselves at times. We must learn to build a sure foundation, and then build upon it with solid timber, don't you think?
God bless,