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Focus on God

Some time ago, a man came to Norman Vincent Peale to share with him the problems of his life. The man was the manager of a hotel. He had a nervous breakdown early in his life, and he was afraid that he was about to have another one. He began to share all of his problems and his burdens with Dr. Peale. The more he shared those problems and burdens, the more uptight he became. After a while, Dr. Peale said to the man, “I tell you what we should do. Let’s stop talking about this and that and so, and instead, I want you to think about God for a few moments. I want you to tell me what you think God is like.” 

Bit by bit the man shifted his thinking from all of his problems, from all of his anxieties, all of his worries to God. He began to talk about the kind of person he thought God was, and the kind of things he thought God could do. As he talked, there came over him a sense of peace and tranquility, and Dr. Peale called his attention to it. He said, “Have you noticed what happened to you when we stopped talking about all of your problems and we started thinking about God? Let me give you some good advice. Center your thoughts on God before you lose yourself in your difficulties.” 

It was some time later when Dr. Peale met the owner of that hotel. The owner said to him, “What did you do to my manager?” Dr. Peale replied, “What do you mean?” The owner answered, “He’s a different man. His whole life has been changed. He has a zest for life, a new joy in life, and he has found new meaning in life.” 

Dr. Peale met with the hotel manager again and said to him, “Tell me how it has been with your life.” The manager said, “My life has been transformed. When I learned to stop focusing on my problems and started thinking about God, there came into my life a sense of peace that I had not known before.”

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Why Wait Until Marriage?

In the old days sex was shrouded with three fears: the fear of conception, the fear of infection, and the fear of detection. Today those fears are largely gone. The pill and other contraceptives have greatly lessened the fear of conception. Antibiotics have greatly lessened the fear of infection, and the automobile has greatly lessened the fear of detection. With the old fears gone, young people are wondering “Why wait for marriage to experience sex?” There are three good reasons.

1. For the sake of others. I still believe one of the greatest arguments against sex before marriage is the possibility of a child. We must not dismiss the old fears too readily. Many, many babies born in the United States each year are born out of wedlock. In addition there are more criminal abortions every year. Babies need all the favorable circumstances they can have as they enter life. Growing up is hard even in the best of families. A child has a right to be born into a home where it is wanted and where there is love and security. God has entrusted to us the power to create life. It is pretty difficult to be causal about that. 

2. For the sake of your own mental health. Francis J. Braceland, editor of the American Journal of Psychiatry, said, “Premarital sex relations, growing out of the so-called ‘new morality,’ have greatly increased the number of young people in mental hospitals. [Reports]  indicate that liberalized dormitory rules and more lenient attitudes toward sex have imposed stresses on some college women severe enough to cause emotional breakdown.”

3. For the sake of marriage. Whatever may be modern attitudes, real or pretended, toward sexual “freedom,” one thing that most people want is a relationship that is sincere and permanent. Those who wait on sex until marriage have the best chance of a happy, permanent marriage. Studies made by the late Professor Lewis M. Terman of Stanford University have concluded that “of those men and women who have had premarital sexual intercourse, the more promiscuous they have been premaritally, the less likely they are to be happy maritally.” 

Why wait until marriage? For the sake of society, yourself, and others. And that is reason enough.

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