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Walking with the Wise

One of the wisest women I’ve ever known was Gertrude Jordan – my great-grandmother. I was only able to walk with her for the first thirteen years of my life, but she keeps changing me.

After she passed away, I inherited one of her most precious belongings – her Bible. My great-grandfather Stanley gave it to her as a birthday gift in 1935. In the margins, she wrote her thoughts and prayers. She recorded decades of heartache and pain. She poured out her soul to her Father on these pages.

On the first page, she wrote down twelve principles that she pursued every day of her life. She called them her “Daily Dozen.” I thought I’d share with you the words of this sweet and godly woman.

The Daily Dozen

  1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in the simple things.

  2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with the gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.

  3. Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't think that somehow you should be protected from misfortunes that befall others.

  4. You can't please everybody. Don't let criticism worry you.

  5. Don't let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.

  6. Do the things you enjoy doing. But stay out of debt.

  7. Don't borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than the actual ones.

  8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish grudges. Avoid people who make you unhappy.

  9. Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about new places.

  10. Don't hold postmortems. Don't spend your life brooding over sorrows and mistakes.

  11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.

  12. Keep busy on something. A very busy person never has time to be unhappy.

Every Christian is called to live wisely. Learning to live wisely, though, taking intentionality. It requires submitting to the source of all wisdom - God Himself - and surrounding ourselves with godly men and women. As Proverbs tells us, "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise." I'm forever grateful that I had such a wise grandmother. She continues to impact me. I hope she impacts you, too.

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