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Self-Made Man

By J. Stuart Holden

      "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

      For, in the truest sense of that frequently misused term, every Christian believer is a self-made man. That description is, I know, usually applied to a man who has made a fortune and has in many cases been so busy over the making of it that he has never thought of making himself. He has made money but has all the time been letting his money make him or rather unmake him. Most often when so applied it points to an example which is a terrible warning. But in an entirely different sense from its common misuse in this connection the Christian believer is a self-made man. He chooses his Model because he is aware that his Model has first chosen him. And he humbly, resolutely and prayerfully determines the degree of fidelity with which he pursues its living lineaments. His soul is continually in his hand. Which is not to say that he is always thinking of his soul. That would be quite as injurious, and quite as complete a denial of his Christian faith, as always to be thinking of his body. No! His hand has to work at the tasks it finds to do, tasks that often seem to have no relation whatever to his spiritual aims and hopes, tasks that in themselves may be altogether uncongenial and yield not the slightest satisfaction beyond their economic value--or rather recompense, tasks that promise nothing beyond the inexorable necessity of their own endless repetition. For such are many of the tasks of modern industry. Yet all the time, while engaged upon them, the Christian man is actually fashioning himself. From this supreme task, in which all others are embraced, which is in point of fact carried out through them, he has no discharge.

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