I recently finished an edifying little book entitled Jesus Did It Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments for Christians (Kent M. Keith, G.P. Putman’s Sons, New York, 2005). You have probably read the list before. I have included it below along with several good quotes from the book. It is fuel for us today as go forward living the paradox.
The Paradoxical Commandment for Christians
1st–People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
2nd–If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
3rd–If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
4th–The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
5th–Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
6th–The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
7th–People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
8th–What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
9th–People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
10th–Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.
“Jesus calls each of us, in our daily lives, to live our faith, and love God, and love each other, and do what we know is right and good and true–no matter what” (p.26).
“Jesus calls us to love people anyway. He didn’t say that we should love each other only when we feel like it, or when it is convenient, or when the people we are supposed to love are charming and lovable. He didn’t say we can give it a try, but if we get tired, or it doesn’t work out, we can just give up. Jesus doesn’t allow any excuses” (p.41).
“People my accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. If they do, don’t allow yourself to be distracted. As Psalm 37 says: ‘Trust in the Lord and do good.’ Be the person God wants you to be–a person who does good. That’s when you will find personal meaning and deep happiness. That is where you will find Jesus” (p.53).
“Above all, cherish your relationships with your family and friends. Find the meaning and deep happiness that come from loving and being loved by people who will be by your side whether you are ‘successful’ or not. When you are successful, they will be genuinely happy for you, and when you are not successful, they will be genuinely sorry for you–but they will always be there for you. Just make sure you are always there for them” (p.63).
“If people can easily forget the good that God does for them, why should we be surprised if people forget the good that we do? People easily forget. But their forgetfulness shouldn’t change who we are and how we live. Who we are and how we live are more important than who remembers what we did” (p.73).
“There are those who say that these big ideas cannot be achieved. There are those who will try to shoot us down. But Jesus didn’t teach us about limits. He taught us to move mountains. We must keep our eyes on Him, and think big anyway” (p.100).
“Most of us sympathize with underdogs. We know that they struggle. We know that the odds are against them. We’d like to see them win, but we rarely reach out and help them. Instead, we play it safe. We follow the top dogs. Jesus was different. He truly cared about underdogs. He ministered to them. He invited them to a new life. Jesus reached out to the poor. He healed lepers, epileptics, and paralytics. He healed the lame, the crippled, the dumb, and the blind. He exorcised demons. He forgave a prostitute. Tax collectors were hated in those days. But Jesus called Matthew, a tax collector, to follow Him” (p.103-104).
“Peter walked on water when he had faith and walked toward Jesus. If we have faith and walk toward Jesus, we will be amazed at what we can accomplish, too. And if we have moments of fear and begin to sink, Jesus will reach out and catch us. One reason that we must step out in faith is that we can’t see the whole picture. We don’t know where all the pieces fit, and why everything happes the way it does. We see through a glass, darkly. Only God knows what it all means. Only God knows the impact of each of our actions and each of our prayers” (p.157).
If you are interested, more information about the author and the book can be found at: