Discover the best advice book of the New Year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 2, 2010

The wit and wisdom of Benjamin Franklin made his Poor Richard’s Almanac popular. He published it every year from 1733-1758.

Almanacs traditionally include a calendar, facts about outstanding dates and events, and weather predictions especially useful for knowing when to plant crops.

Another thing almanacs are known for is practical advice. Ben Franklin’s gave us classic sayings like, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” and “Work as if you were to live a hundred years, pray as if you were to die tomorrow.”

Franklin made several wise statements about time. In 1746, he wrote in his almanac, “Lost time is never found again.” We still repeat his advice to a young tradesman, “Remember that time is money.”

He also penned these profound words, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that’s the stuff life is made of.”

Others have written about the subject. Philosopher William James once stated, “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” Or as another writer has said, “Counting time is not nearly so important as making time count.”

Thomas Edison remarked, “Time is not a commodity that can be stored for the future. It must be invested hour by hour, or else it is gone forever.” Helen Keller said, “I will not just live my life. I will not just spend my life. I will invest my life.”

Though books abound on how to live your life, the wisest advice can be found in the best book ever written – the Bible. The inspired Word of God gives us words of wisdom to live by. Every day is a gift from God according to Psalm 118:24, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Ephesians 5:16 tells us we are living in evil times, so make every day count. Jesus even said that in this life we would have trouble, but to be of good cheer for He had overcome the world. So we can overcome, too. Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength (John 16:33, Isaiah 40:31).

Life is uncertain. Solomon, the wisest mortal who ever lived, observed that we do not know what a day may bring forth (Proverbs 27:1). Anyone who watches the evening news certainly understands the truth of his words.

Trust God even when life doesn’t make sense. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path,” Solomon instructs us (Proverbs 3:5 and 6).

Don’t worry or be anxious about tomorrow nor today. Jesus said there’s more to life than what to eat and what to wear. “Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

During the coming year, search the Scriptures for wisdom to live each day.