Persist and resist…

I’m loving my Penguin classic titled Epictetus Discources and Selected Writings. Epictetus was born into slavery, achieved freedom (in more ways than one), and taught philosophy most of his life. He didn’t write a book, but made such an impression on one of his students that they wrote a compilation of his lectures so his thoughts live on today. Epictetus (55-135 AD) words are relevant today. Here’s but a small, small sampling for your digestion this morning.

You see, Epictetus thought the darkest vices were the lack of persistence and lack of self control. Without persistence we don’t endure hardships well, without self control we don’t resist pleasures, we over indulge. Sound familiar, friend? Epictetus, during one of his ccd lectures, says it well – “Two words should be committed to memory and obeyed by alternately exhorting and restraining ourselves, words that ensure we lead a mainly blameless and untroubled life. These two words were persist and resist.” Well spoken, Epictetus. Persist and resist.

Words to live by, yes? What struggle are you enduring well, friend? What sweet indulgence are you resisting? God, help me persist and resist while receiving and giving love. God, help me remember to reverse the order. Receive and give. Persist and resist. Good “and,” yes? Good…

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