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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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Shakespeare’s works often contain religious words of wisdom

Shakespeare’s works often contain religious words of wisdom

William Shakespeare produced 38 plays, 154 sonnets and five narrative poems.

We remember him for both his work ethic and remarkable understanding of human nature – two qualities that every Christian should possess.

To commemorate the 400th anniversary of his death, (April 23, 1616), I have pulled together some of his most memorable quotations.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” (Measure for Measure) We too often live in fear. It causes us not to act or to become the person God wants us to be. Jesus often told us, “Have faith in God. Do not be afraid.”

“Have more than thou showest. Speak less than thou knowest.” (King Lear) Have more depth than you are willing to show others but don’t be a show-off trying to prove how smart you are.

“This above all: to thine ownself be true. And it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” (Hamlet) Be yourself. God made everyone unique and gifted. Stop trying to be someone else. Look into yourself and find your own gifts and develop them.

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” (All’s Well That Ends Well) Author Howard Behar says, “Our success is directly related to our clarity and honesty about who we are, who we’re not, where we want to go, and how we’re going to get there.”

“Certain, men should be what they seem.” (Othello) Be the person that God made you to be.

“All that glisters is not gold.” (The Merchant of Venice) Many things in life appear more beneficial than they really are. We have to learn to choose the eternal values.

“O God, O God, how weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable seem to me all the uses of this world!” (Hamlets) Jesus told us, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses himself.”

“To be, or not to be: that is the question.” (Hamlet) We all have a choice to be alive or be like dead people walking. We can choose to the best version of ourselves or we can give up on life.

“Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” (Hamlet) If our hearts are not in our worship and prayers, then they are meaningless. Jesus said, “True worshipers will the Father in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23)

“The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” (Hamlet) Often people try to cover up their guilt or the mistakes they have made by protesting to those looking into the situation.

“Oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.” (King John) When we make a mistake, the best thing to do is say we are sorry, not make excuses for our actions.

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” (The Merchant of Venice) We saw the devil quote Scripture when he was trying to tempt Jesus in the desert.

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” (Hamlet) We all wear masks but sometimes we forget to take them off and reveal our true selves.

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” (All’s Well That Ends Well) Good advice.

“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” (Measure for Measure) The more people learn about life, the more they realize how much they don’t know.

“God shall be my hope, my stay, my guide and lantern to my feet.” (Henry V) Well said.

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” Attributed to Shakespeare, not in a play.

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” (The Merchant of Venice) We should never get tired of doing good, even in our wicked world.