4 Quotes By & About George Washington In “Humility”

HumilityI thoroughly enjoyed Dr. David Bobb’s book Humility (you can read my full book review by clicking here). The book was partially a challenge for us to cultivate this virtue in our individual lives and in the fabric of our nation. So Dr. Bobb uses several biographies of notable Americans to illustrate the power of humility. These are some quotes by and about George Washington.

“In [George] Washington’s early haste to achieve greatness, he sometimes let his ambition outpace virtue. He gradually realized this, and he calibrated his actions accordingly. Rather than just cloaking his ambition, Washington recognized that the more he served others and the cause of justice, the more his success would matter. The less his ambition was about his own fame, the more he would deserve the honors he received. Virtue in this sense, he discovered, can be its own reward.” —David Bobb

“I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life, by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to His holy keeping.” —George Washington’s resignation speech

“I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain (what I consider the most enviable of all titles) the character of an honest man, as well as prove (what I desire to be considered in reality) that I am.” —George Washington 

“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” —George Washington’s farewell address

Maintain Sexual Discretion

Sexual discretionI’m always saddened when I hear of Christians who stumble in sexual sin. Whether it’s a real relationship with someone not their spouse or a virtual relationship with pornography, the pain and consequences are heart-wrenching.

King Solomon offers some sage advice to help us have victory in this area, which is summed up in just two words: maintain discretion (Proverbs 5:2). These are among his opening words before he describes the sweeter-than-honey, smoother-than-oil allure of sexual temptation.

This phrase—maintain discretion—emphasizes a strategy that is designed and thought-out prior to the moment of temptation: “maintain” means to keep close at hand and ready to use. This is the complete opposite of deciding in the moment. “The Moment” is usually emotionally-charged, intellectually-lacking, and comes at the most inopportune time when you’re at your most vulnerable point.

Solomon says to have a plan in place ahead of time to “keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house” (v. 8).

An even better plan is to make the relationship with your spouse (or future spouse) something so exciting and fulfilling (vv. 15-19) that any momentary temptation appears puny, shallow, and even abhorrent by contrast.

Wisdom is helpful in “the moment,” but it’s even more effective in keeping you away from “the moment.” You don’t have to be a victim of sexual sin, you CAN maintain discretion.

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