When battered by soaring prices, we are tempted to think that
we could cope better and be happier if we were wealthy.
Not really, according to a study of graduates from a major
American university. The careers of 140 of the graduates of the 1974 class in
business administration were closely followed for five years. The researcher
categorized the graduates into three groups: top-paid graduates whose average
salaries were $75,000; the medium salary range with $38,000 annually; the low
salary group with $25,000 annually. At the end of the five-year period, he found
that unhappiness in the high income group had increased dramatically. The low
income group was happier with its family and lifestyle. The medium salary group
also was ahead of the high income group in its satisfaction with life.
A WISE SERVANT: Gentiles who are faithful (Rom
A DISGRACEFUL SON: Jews who are unfaithful. Cp parable
prodigal son (Luk 15:11-32).
THE LORD TESTS THE HEART: "In the work here mentioned
the object is to clear away the dross whether in the fining of metals or of
human hearts, but the proverb does not suggest that there is a perfect analogy.
Rather does it imply a difference. Metals may be purified by men with fining pot
and furnace, but the heart can only be tried and cleansed by God. The process of
fining is far more complex and wonderful than anything that can be effected with
metals. It is not merely a matter of removing dross, but something quite new has
to be introduced; new hopes, new desires and in fact 'newness of life' "
In the spring of 1894, the Baltimore Orioles came to Boston to
play a routine baseball game. But what happened that day was anything but
routine. The Orioles' John McGraw got into a fight with the Boston third
baseman. Within minutes all the players from both teams had joined in the brawl.
The warfare quickly spread to the grandstands. Among the fans the conflict went
from bad to worse. Someone set fire to the stands and the entire ballpark burned
to the ground. Not only that, but the fire spread to 107 other Boston buildings
A MAN LACKING IN JUDGMENT STRIKES HANDS IN PLEDGE AND PUTS
UP SECURITY FOR HIS NEIGHBOR: "In this matter adults often reveal less
capacity for learning than children. They have the advantage of books containing
all the accumulated wisdom of mankind, and beyond all this and permeating a
great deal of it, there is the instruction that has come direct from God, yet
the knowledge is very little used. Life is full of avoidable evils through men
ignoring principles or rules of conduct which are perfectly well known, and
which have had their wisdom demonstrated in every generation.
"Sometimes the individual failure is so obvious that almost
all observers smile at it. I recall two instances of this kind in which the
facts were related by the victim when sufficient time had passed for him to join
in the amusement. The first was of a capable business man who lightheartedly put
his name to paper and became surety for another without even knowing the full
extent of his commitment. As is usual in such cases, the one thus assisted
failed to pay his way, and the guarantor was for some weeks on the verge of
ruin, not knowing when the crushing blow would fall. While in this worried
condition he one day opened the Bible to find a little consolation, and almost
the very first passage he read was one in Proverbs warning men against the very
folly he had committed. 'What a foolish man I am', he thought. 'I have
carelessly brought myself into this trouble, when all the while the whole matter
is explained in the Bible in the most up-to-date manner. If I had read it before
I might have been warned' " (PrPr).
STRIKES HANDS: "It is interesting to note the
expression 'strike hands' in this connection. It suggests that without any
signature, the offering and acceptance of the hand would constitute a bond which
no one would repudiate. We may sometimes see in English cattle markets a custom
which is probably a survival of that to which the wise man refers. Two men will
be haggling over the price of a beast. Finally the vendor, having made a
concession, declares that he will take nothing less. He holds out his right
hand, stating the price, and perhaps with quite a dramatic indication of
finality. The buyer, with no show of enthusiasm, and without saying a word,
strikes the outstretched hand with his own palm and the sale is effected. Surely
a survival from three thousand years or more" (PrPr).