Playing Second Fiddle

I REMEMBER READING OF Leonard Bernstein, the late, legendary conductor of the New York Philharmonic, giving an insightful answer in an informal interview. Following a televised performance, one admirer asked: “Mr. Bernstein, what is the most difficult instrument to play?” With quick wit and without even a thought he replied:

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I, Me, Mine, Myself

THOSE FOUR WORDS stood out in bold print. They appeared as if they were forming an enormous monument, each letter seemingly chiseled out of granite. At the base of this strange “monument” were hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people with their arms stretched high, as if worshiping at a shrine. And then, in very small letters, this caption appeared at the bottom of the editorial cartoon: “Speaking of American cults . . .”

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Don’t Quit

YEARS AGO, I listened as Anna Sklar, the author of a book titled Runaway Wives, shared some shocking statistics: Early in the twentieth century, for every wife or mother who walked away from her home and responsibilities, six hundred husbands and fathers did so. Just ten years later, after the women’s liberation movement, for each man who did that, two women did the same.

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Persistence Pays

PERSISTENCE IS A COSTLY INVESTMENT, no question about it. But the dividends are so much greater than the original outlay that you’ll almost forget the price. And if the final benefits are significant, you’ll wonder why you ever hesitated to begin with. A primary reason we are tempted to give up is other people . . . you know, the less than 20 percent whose major role it is in life to encourage others to toss in the towel, for whatever reason.

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Tough Hides, Tender Hearts

WHEN HOSEA MARRIED A PROSTITUTE, respect for him dropped to zero. “Small wonder he is listed first among the minor prophets,” some may sneer today. “He must have been a real loser.” Wrong again, O critic. Hosea was one of the most patient, tender, loving, and obedient of all the ancient prophets. “Then why in the world would such a man fall for a woman such as she?” Because God told him to! That’s right.

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Traveling Companions

FOR THE FIRST part of their life together, Abraham and Sarah worshiped many gods. Then they received a visit from the one true Creator God, who said, in effect, “I have chosen you to become My models of faith.

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Anchor of Unity

The scene breathed life-threatening fears. Imaginations ran wild. Paul knew that staying together was the secret to their survival. The temptation was strong to abandon ship and let each person fend for himself.

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Complete Acceptance

Because we’ve lived with our wives over the years and have become extremely comfortable around them, we tend to be unguarded in our words. Wives usually get the brunt of our worst words.

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Truth Spoken in Love

I’m impressed that Job listened to the words of his wife. He pondered them, he considered them, he turned them over in his mind. He neither misunderstood nor ignored her. He heard what she said.

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A Plea for Understanding

I want to confess that for too long in my ministry I took unfair advantage of Job’s wife, especially since she was not present to defend herself. I think it was probably due to immaturity on my part.

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