Is the leadership of the worldwide church in the hands of men and women who know how to lead others one by one to Jesus Christ? We are so concerned with planning and administration that there is a danger lest we allow these things to serve as an excuse for not doing the one thing on which all else depends.
Farming is among the top ten most dangerous occupations. More than 1000 individuals lose their lives each year due to farm accidents. In 1995, there were 130,000 agricultural workers injured, and approximately half of these injuries were permanent.
While extremely sensitive as to the slightest approach to slander, you must also guard against an extreme into which some people fall, who, in their desire to speak evil of no one, actually uphold and speak well of vice. If you have to do with one who is unquestionably a slanderer, do not excuse him by calling him frank and free-spoken; do not call one who is notoriously vain, liberal and elegant; do not call dangerous levities mere simplicity; do not screen disobedience under the name of zeal; or arrogance, of frankness; or evil intimacy, of friendship. No, my friends, we must never, in our wish to shun slander, foster or flatter vice in others: but we must call evil evil, and sin sin, and so doing we shall serve God's glory.
So to be sick unto death is, not to be able to die-yet not as though there were hope of life; no, the hopelessness in this case is that even the last hope, death, is not available. When death is the greatest danger, one hopes for life; but when one becomes acquainted with an even more dreadful danger, one hopes for death. So when the danger is so great that death has become one's hope, despair is the disconsolateness of not being able to die.
Compared with the person who is conscious of his despair, the despairing individual who is ignorant of his despair is simply a negativity further away from the truth and deliverance. . . . Yet ignorance is so far from breaking the despair or changing despair to nondespairing that it can in fact be the most dangerous form of despair. . . . An individual is furthest from being conscious of himself as spirit when he is ignorant of being in despair. But precisely this-not to be conscious of oneself as spirit-is despair, which is spiritlessness. . . .
Be calm and strong and patient. Meet failure and disappointment with courage. Rise superior to the trials of life, and never give in to hopelessness or despair. In danger, in adversity, cling to your principles and ideals. Aequanimitas!