Wisdom From William Wilberforce

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One of my heroes is William Wilberforce.  Wilberforce, a Christian, was a champion of civil rights and was chiefly responsible putting an end to the British slave trade in the early 1800s.  I intend to blog on him here in the future as a Kingdom hero.

Wilberforce also wrote a book that was a bestseller in its day in England, and it’s one of my favorites: A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes in this Country as Contrasted with Real Christianity. He wrote the book in 1797, apparently before the age of marketing.  Modern marketing geniuses have shortened the title to A Practical View of Christianity.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is: “Christianity, be it remembered, proposes not to extinguish our natural desires, but to bring them under just control, and direct them to their true objects.”  I don’t know how one could say it better.

Many view Christianity as a set of rules which, if applied, take the fun out of living.  Quite the contrary, Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10).  The problem is that before people find Jesus they try to suck meaning and life out of things that were never created to give them.  Do you really believe your career or more money is the key to happiness?  If that were the case why, for example, do white male doctors have a suicide rate twice that of the general population of white males 25 and older?

I really began to live after I became a Jesus-follower and starting enjoying things for the purposes for which they were created.  I enjoyed golf more when I realized being a scratch golfer would not provide true meaning in my life.  I have a better marriage because I don’t expect my wife to satisfy my need for purpose and meaning.  I enjoy the blessings of money because money is not the source of my blessing.

I enjoy life because, first and foremost, I enjoy Him. GS