Daily Encouragement: Day 228

From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 228

CONFORMING TO THE TRUTH

If anyone wishes to come after You,
he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow You.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for Your sake
and the gospel’s will find it.
For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world,
yet forfeits his soul?
Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
(Matthew 16:24–26; Mark 8:34–37; Luke 9:23–25)

As an obedient child, I will not conform myself
to the former lusts I had when I lived in ignorance,
but as He who called me is holy,
so I will be holy in all my conduct,
because it is written:
“You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
(1 Peter 1:14–16)

The prominent 19th-century British actor William Charles Macready (1793–1873) was noted for his tragic roles, but his handwriting was notoriously difficult to decipher. When he wrote a complimentary letter of admission to a theater during one of his American tours, the recipient remarked that it looked every bit as illegible as a doctor’s prescription. He and a friend thereupon decided to take it along to the apothecary to see what he made of it. The young assistant took the piece of paper and with scarcely a glance at it began pulling down phials and jars to make a compound. After mixing a number of ingredients with great confidence, he seemed to come to an item that bothered him; he paused and puzzled over it and at last summoned his boss from the back of the shop. The older man studied the paper and then with a contemptuous snort at his assistant’s ignorance, pulled down another bottle and completed the mixture. Handing the result to his customers, he remarked with a smile, “A cough mixture, and a very good one. Fifty cents, if you please.”

We have a way of interpreting things according to our expectations, rather than altering our preconceptions to conform to the truth.