I have long been drawn to quotes that help me to be a better person, and the Bible is a wonderful source for inspiring quotes and wisdom. Some of my favorite quotes of all time can be found in the bible, and I believe that no matter what your religion, it is a wise person that hears wise words and sees the value in them. These passages, taken from the King James Version Bible, illustrate some important lessons that never fail to inspire me and guide me.
Proverbs 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart
Don’t let your compassion and honesty “abandon” you. Keep them close, practice them, never let them out of your sight. Be honest.. and be merciful. This quote inspires me anew each time I read it. I am reminded of my individual responsibility to nurture these things in myself, for the better good of my spirit.. and for my fellow earth inhabitants. We are all in this together, and mercy and truth are virtues that directly involve others.. these virtues are meant to be carried in our hearts because we are ALL imperfect, and yet we must find a way to love one another and get along. I can’t think of a better way to illustrate the necessity of keeping mercy and truth alive in every moment (and apparent in our lives) than to “bind them about thy neck” and “write them upon the table of thine heart”.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life
Whatever is in your heart determines what is in your life. The real issues in our lives (good or bad) only affect us so deeply because they are the issues of our heart. When we fall in love, or lose a loved one, make a new best friend, or even sing our favorite song, our response whether grief, excitement or joy, comes from our hearts. These are the things that mean something to us personally, and we must be in touch with this, and keep in touch. We can’t be happy if we aren’t aware of what really speaks to our heart.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do [it] with thy might; for [there is] no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest
In everything you do, give your all. Whatever work you do, do it well.. to the very best of your ability. There is a satisfaction in a job well done, and the reward is having given your all, in all of your works while you were alive and had a chance to. We have a certain, limited amount of time in these earthly bodies, and it is meant to be treated as a precious thing, a gift.. and we must honor that gift by living our lives wholeheartedly. This quote is inspiring to me because it is a constant reminder of how fleeting and precious life is, and it reminds me that I am a unique and amazing spirit who has been born into this world to be EXACTLY THAT, wholeheartedly.. until my time here is through.
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not quench the Spirit
We are all spirit, and if we are true to ourselves, our spirit will shine through in our efforts and actions. If we are stifling our talents or passions (or being stifled by others) we are only quenching the spirit. If you love to sing, but don’t because you are embarrassed, or because others don’t like it.. you are quenching the spirit. The spirit longs to be expressed, and each person is a unique entity, capable of expressing a unique and beautiful manifestation of the spirit. We must not quench this.. We must be our own unique interpretation of the spirit that dwells in us.
Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof
We have no control over what tomorrow brings, we barely manage today.. we should take on the issues of today, and take on tomorrow’s issues tomorrow. I used to lay in bed trying to sleep, thinking and worrying over the new day. The words of this passage are inspiring and comforting to me because they help me to determine what I really have control over, and what I don’t. As someone who has things going on every day (most people do) I have truly found that today DOES carry it’s own worries and troubles.. Who could possibly take on the worries of a day that has not even arrived yet? I find I am much happier if I can let go of the future.. it is just as important as letting of of the past. If we have done all we can, today, to move forward in our lives, we can let go of the promises and expectations of a tomorrow that is still waiting to be.