Living by Principle Rather Than Impulse

It is our privilege to have the Spirit of God unfold to us simple, definite principles, which we may incorporate so thoroughly into our life's experience, that, like a master key, they will serve to unlock our most troublesome perplexities.

Immense tunnels are constructed by human enterprise; and although the men who dig them can not see their way ahead, the tunnel will come out within a fraction of an inch of the place planned by the engineer.  This is because the master minds that supervise such undertakings follow so closely certain mathematical principles that there is not the slightest deviation to confuse the correct outcome. So in our spiritual experience:  if we trust the Master, and do not seek our own way, we shall succeed; but if we lay aside living faith and guiding principle, and attempt to walk by sight and feeling, we shall soon find ourselves involved in endless difficulties.

Those who weave the magnificent tapestry produced in Oriental countries, work under the goods, and see only the rough threads hanging down beneath; but they have in mind a definite pattern of the beautiful figure that is being wrought out on the top. Often in our daily work, seeing only the loose threads, we seem to have abundant reason for discouragement; but if we work from principle, we may be sure that a divine hand is weaving out for us a glorious pattern, which will abide through all eternity.

The magnificent tile floors that are occasionally seen were laid down a bit at a time; but the workman had in mind those marvelous figures that afterward delight all observers.  It requires faith to believe that every act of faithfulness, however small, is placing a stone in that temple of character which God is rearing in every human soul that is learning the sweet lesson of living by principle instead of by feeling.

An unsightly block of marble may have been used merely as a doorstep; but by and by a sculptor begins to chip off its rough corners and edges.  Where others saw nothing but rough, undesirable stone, he sees the form of an angel. Every blow brings out more fully his ideal.  So from the standpoint of sight and feeling, we may be only rough stones; but the various trying experiences through which God allows us to pass will, if we submit to them as does the block to the chisel, serve as a certain blow to bring out the figure of the divine where before appeared only human rubbish.

Sometimes the devil will fairly crush us by leading us to think that God will not again undertake the process of character-building that was interrupted by some sad blunder.  We should never, even in the darkest hour, lose sight of the fact that although God can not tolerate sin, he will never cease, as long as there is the least prospect that he can be won, to draw the sinner to himself.  We should remember that at best we have this treasure in earthen vessels, and that the treasure is of more consequence than the vessel that contains it.

An eaves-trough made of ordinary lumber may carry off as much water, provided it is so hung as to catch the drops, as one made of silver. So although, from a human standpoint, we may not be very promising, if we are willing to be placed of God where the droppings of the latter rain can fall into us, we shall be happy ourselves, and a blessing to others.-- David Paulson, M. D.