[forthright] Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Became Twenty-one Years of Age!

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From: "Forthright Magazine" <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 18:30:46 -0300
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

COLUMN: Guest Article

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Became
Twenty-one Years of Age!
by H. Leo Boles* 

Much trouble and worry come about because we
didn't know -— didn't think. Many know and preach,
but don't practice. The following is the results
of a questionnaire from successful men. 

I Wish I Had Known: 

1. What I was to make my life's work. 

2. That my health after thirty years of age
depended largely upon what I ate before reaching
the age of twenty-one. 

3. How to take care of money. 

4. The commercial asset of going neatly and
sensibly dressed. 

5. That habits are hard to change after twenty-one

6. A harvest depends upon the seed sown. 

7. Things worthwhile require time, patience, and

8. That I can't get something for nothing. 

9. That the world will give me what I deserve. 

10. That by the sweat of my brow I must earn my

11. That a thorough education brings the best of

12. That honesty is the best policy for right. 

13. The value of truth in everything. 

14. The folly of not taking the advice of older

15. What it really means to parents to rear their

16. What hardships and disappointment leaving home
against parent's will brings. 

17. More of the Bible. 

18. The value of the opportunity of serving my

19. That Jesus is with me always. 

20. That God's relationship to me is as good as
that of a shepherd to his sheep. 

*Chapel Talk by H. Leo Boles at David Lipscomb
College, Spring, 1928. Taken from A Word Fitly
Spoken, by John D. Cox.

COLUMN: Final Phase
Wrestling with Violence
by J. Randal Matheny 

A novel I'm reading portrays the main character as
having been devastated by the death of his son
because of cancer. He becomes suicidal, not
finding rhyme or reason in the world for the
suffering that exists. 

Habakkuk is not far from that character. His
questions are even larger, even tougher. But
instead of thinking of putting a gun in his mouth,
the prophet puts his questions to God. 

"O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you
will not hear? Or cry to you 'Violence!' and you
will not save?" (Hab. 1:2, ESV). Habakkuk is
desperate for an answer, but doesn't give up
calling on the Lord. In fact, he knows that the
only place he can get an answer to his doubts and
questions is with the Lord. 

The prophet's big Problem is violence. Not natural
disaster, but man-to-man cruelty and oppression.
He uses the word six times in his small book (1.2,
3, 9, 2:8, 17 [twice]). 

Habakkuk has a hard time with the Lord's first
answer, that he will punish Judah at the hands of
the Babylonians. That leads to a second round of
questions. How can a just God send such impious
pagans against his own people? 

Though the Lord answers that he will also punish
the punishers for their own wrong-doing, the
essence of Habakkuk's lesson lies in 2:4: "Behold,
his soul [like the Babylonians] is puffed up; it
is not upright within him, but the righteous shall
live by faith." 

God's person must do right, in spite of all the
questionings, doubts, gaps of understanding, and
horror at the wrong in the world. The righteous
one will hold on to the justice of God, who, at
the right time and in the right way, will settle
accounts. The evil ones will be cut off, but those
who keep their faith in God's plan will find life
that survives the violence of this world. 

Regardless of what happens, then, "I will rejoice
in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my
salvation" (Hab. 3:19a). 

Habakkuk's conversation with the Lord becomes my
own. God has answered, and all will be right with
the world when he gets through with it. I believe
him, and I'll hang in there until we come out to
the other side.

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