“Whoa, Jo! That isn’t even in the Bible. It’s from Poor Richard’s Almanac written by Benjamin Franklin!” Franklin was famous as a businessman, author, statesman, ambassador, popular ladies’ man and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin had an answer for nearly every difficulty – except when it came to God.
“We can’t find this in the Bible?” I asked, thinking that I knew the Bible very well by reading it, applying it and knowing it by pure association. For example, when I cook, my prayer basket with Bible and study guides is right next to the flour and oil.
“No, just try,” she challenged me.
My friend pricked my curiosity, so I ordered *The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin combined with excerpts from Poor Richards’s Almanac .
Ben Franklin wrote the almanac over a period of twenty-five years. In book publishing circles, he enjoyed success and many trips to the bank with fat deposits. Just as every family today has a phone book, so in the mid-seventeen-hundreds, every family had a Poor Richard’s Almanac. So how about a quiz? Can you tell which of these comes from the Bible and which from Poor Richard’s Almanac? The answers will be posted Wednesday, August 3.
Passages: Poor Richard’s Almanac or The Bible?
1.Wise men learn by others’ harms. Fools scarcely learn by their own.
2.Therefore ask [a] blessing humbly and be not uncharitable to those at present seem to want it, but comfort and help them.
3. Do not speak to a fool, for he will scorn the wisdom of your words.
4. They that won’t be counseled can’t be helped.
5. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel.
6. I, even I, am he who comforts you.
7. But dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.
8. So in everything do to others what you would have them do to you.
9. A friend loveth at all times.
* Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Including Poor Richard’s Almanac and Familiar Letters, Cosimo Classics, New York: 2005. Originally published by the Spencer Press, 1791.
So what’s the point? Do you know whose guidelines you are following in your life? Are you attributing the world’s advice to God? Make sure you know who speaks before you follow. Read your Bible.
[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, Intermedia Publishing, 2011. For more chuckles, keep checking her weekly blog on Button-to-God.com.]