Want a fun way to pray and ponder Scripture? Hans Christian Andersen Illuminated by The Message pairs passages from Andersen’s fairy tales with The Message (Scripture in contemporary language). Here is a sampling from the book:
“But he has nothing on!” said a little child.
“Just listen to the innocent!” said the child’s father. But one person whispered to another what the child had said.
“He has nothing on; a little child says he has nothing on!”
“But he really hasn’t anything on!” at last shouted all the people. The Emperor had a creepy feeling, for it seemed to him that they were right. But then he thought within himself, “I must carry the thing out and go through with the procession.”
So he bore himself still more proudly, and the chamberlains walked along behind him carrying the train which was not there at all.
THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES
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Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.