Articles | Tips & Help for the Daily Christian Life |

Grow in Christ

A Good Start - Exaggeration

FB Meyer

BENEATH all exaggeration there is a basis of truth. When an American said that the whey which flowed from the making of a large cheese in his country was sufficient to run three sawmills; and when another affirmed that the soil of his farm was so prolific that the tendrils of the vine which he had just sown caught him up and entwined around his legs before he could get over the fence, there was no doubt some truth at the basis of their statements, though only as a drop of homeopathic medicine in a tumblerful of water. And it is this small residuum of truth that veils to the eyes of really good people the evil of this habit. There is no doubt that, in the last analysis, exaggeration must be classed under the head of lying and falsehood. Those that exaggerate are excommunicate from the Temple of Truth.

I heard Mr. Moody say the other day that a lady had come to him, asking how she might be delivered from the habit of exaggeration, to which she was very prone. "Call it lying, madam," was the uncompromising answer, " and deal with it as you would with any other temptation of the devil." A Greater has said, "Let your speech be Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one."

We exaggerate in our narrations. When a little lad, I had been listening with amazement to the description, given by a lady, of some recent experiences, when my grandfather whispered to me slyly, "All her geese are swans." The words have often come back to me. When mothers describe the excellences of their children, their wit, precocity, and beauty; when travellers narrate their hairbreadth escapes, their marvellous experiences by land or water, all of which end so neatly as to resemble the often polished deal; when ministers give themselves up to tell the story of the crowds they address, the magnitude of their church operations, or the deftness with which they have managed to get their own way,- one is inclined to think that, under the idealizing effect of a strong imagination, geese have become swans.

It seems almost impossible for some people to tell an unvarnished tale. The actual is not wonderful enough. They must gild the common sunlight, and paint the familiar petals of the flowers. They think that effect can be produced only by daubing their canvas with great masses of gaudy color. They forget that the quiet shining of the stars is môre healthy and beneficent than the grandest display of fireworks that ever poured in cascades, flashed in wheels, or filled the sky with ten thousand vanishing fairy lights. For my part, I prefer the earlier paintings of Turner to the later, and the stories of George Eliot to those of Disraeli or Bulwer-Lytton; and I think that most ordinary people would concur in the judgment.

We exaggerate in our choice of words.

It is too terrible to hear the young ladies of the period discussing a panorama of Alps, a sunset at sea, a vision like that of Fountains or Clairvaulx under the soft light of the moon. "Awful," "killing," "awfully jolly," "too, too, don't-yer-know," are quite the most refined and moderate that I need cite here; one has no desire to put more of this base coin into circulation. This pernicious habit arises in part from ignorance of the derivation, meaning, and value of words, but particularly from the desire to be conspicuous among the little group around them. Many people mistake bigness for greatness, bulk for value. They resemble the Chinamen in New York, who buy the largest boots procurable for their money, under the impression that in this way they can best obtain their money's worth. It is a cheap and easy manoeuvre to hide the paucity of your ideas beneath the vehemence and loudness of your speech. This accounts for a good deal of loudness in voice and extravagance in phrase.

We also exaggerate in our religious phraseology. In certain prayers we are wont to hear, there is gross exaggeration in the confessions of sin. If all that some men say of themselves in prayer be true, they certainly deserve to be put out of the church, or be interviewed by their ministers. But if you were to take them at their word, and refuse to allow your families to associate with theirs, or withdraw your custom from their stores, on the ground of their confessions of depravity, they would be very much surprised. Many a man would threaten to knock you down if you applied to him the epithets hê applies to himself.

So with expressions of love and devotion to the Saviour. We often hear him addressed in prayer in the most familiar and luscious terms. The tenderest, loveliest names are addressed to him. Of course, where these are flowers gathered from the garden of a holy soul, they are fragrant and delightful, awakening the dull sense, and quickening the flagging zeal of all who hear; but where they are far in advance of the evident personal experience, and are contradicted by the behavior of the utterer, as he forces his way into the tram-car from the drenching shower in which the meeting closes,-you feel that there is an air of unreality and extravagance in the whole thing, which must have a terrible effect on him, while it reacts on others like the heavy air that has fanned acres of poppies.

Exaggeration infects all our life. The bride exaggerates the number and value of her presents. The tradesman's advertisements announce that he has 10,000 bedsteads on view, when he has only 1,000 at the most; that he can offer 1,000 cheeses to choose from, when, with great difficulty, he can get too into his cellar; that he is selling off at an alarming sacrifice, when all in the trade know that he is making large profits. The minister says there are hundreds in his congregation, when, if heads were reckoned, it would be found that there were only four or five score, of whom several were children. Most of us are adepts at drawing the longbow. We are not content with the reflection cast by events on the plain glass of truth, but distort them by the convex or the concave, like the two mirrors which are sometimes placed outside eating-houses to show the effect of a good meal on the face.

This habit may be traced to childhood. The simplicity and naturalness of babe-life is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We force the growth of heaven's nurselings, encourage them in smartness and old-fashionedness, tell them extravagant fairy stories, rear them in artificial gaslight, and then complain that they have lost the sweet ingenuousness of youth, and grown into young men and women of the period before they have barely reached their teens. It is as if nature should rush into summer without a spring, or the day spring into the glare of noon without morning. We must begin building the Palace of Truth in the earliest impressions of the nursery.

We should accustom ourselves to think and speak accurately. Nothing so tests the quality of our minds as our use and choice of adjectives. When people know all your adjectives they have come to the end of your treasures. It is partly due to our slovenliness in observing and describing that we exaggerate in our speech; and the evil would be remedied if young people would read the best poetry with careful discrimination, asking why Browning or Tennyson uses such a word in such a connection. It is specially valuable, with this object, to translate some foreign author-- Homer, Virgil, Dante, Racine, or Schiller finding an English equivalent for each word, though it consume an hour of thought and research.

Let us, also, in describing anything in which we have taken a part, remember that God is listening, and be on the watch against the natural tendency of our tongue to take its coloring matter from the gorgeous palette of the imagination rather than from the neutral tints of sober fact. Let us ask the Spirit of Truth to set a watch upon the door of our lips, allowing nothing to pass out on which he cannot set his seal. Whatever we do, in word as well as deed, let us do all in the name and for the glory of Jesus. Why should wê seek to attract the attention of men to ourselves, when to do so may detract from the glory of his workmanship in our character? And if, in the heat of conversation, we are betrayed into exaggeration, and are reminded of it afterwards by the Holy Spirit, let us at once make application for cleansing in the precious blood, and confess to others the wrong we have done to the sacred majesty of Truth.

Questions Answered

Here are some articles on different topics, see what the Bible says.

DIE NATUURLIKE EIENSKAPPE VAN GOD WAT VERBAND HOU MET GOD SE WESE SOOS HY IN HOMSELF IS. Alwetend – God weet alles. Hy het volledige kennis van alles in die verlede, hede en die toekoms. (Job 37:16; Ps. 139:1-6). Almagtig – God…
One has only to examine the Bible to find abundant references condemning the use of alcoholic beverages. In fact, if the preacher is to stick to his Bible, preach the whole truth, and be…
Twee van die sondes waarteen mense ‘n baie verdraagsame houding inneem, is drink en rook. Wat sê die Bybel hiervan, en wat is die gevare wat daaraan verbonde is? Drankgebruik Een van die algemeenste argumente waardeur mense drankgebruik wil regverdig,…
An exposition of the doctrine of eternal punishment in a burning hell for all the unsaved people of all ages. 1. How Can We Know About Hell? “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine…
It is important that one understands the phenomenon of apostatising, or backsliding, as every believer should be able to identify and counter this backward course in his or her spiritual life whenever it occurs. If you wish to determine the…
Die onderwerp van die doop is baie kontroversieel met baie misverstande. Baie mense dweep met die doop en dit raak 'n obsessie by hulle. Dit veroorsaak baie keer ongebalanseerde en dwase strydvrae met die gevolg dat Christene twis oor die…
Vergifnis is ‘n opdrag in die Woord van God (Matt 6:14, 15; Mark 11:25, 26; Luk 6:37; Efes 4:32 en Kol 3:13). Sonder vergifnis is daar geen bevryding van die seer en pyn wat ander jou aangedoen het nie. Die…

Lees meer

Loose Lips Sink Ships
I know this has been used as a catchphrase by the military in referring to ships. However, I believe it could be applied to each one of us today. Loose lips can sink more than naval ships. They can…

Read more

Questions Answered

Questions Answered

Being a Christian and drinking alcohol, what does the Bible say?
The Dangers of Moderate Drinking
John B. Gough (1817-1886) Born in Sandgate, Kent, England in 1817, Gough immigrated to the United States when he was only twelve years old. His mother and sister also came to America. His mother died of a stroke and Gough,…

Read more

Beer and Wine: The Bible’s Counsel
Doesn't the Bible refer in a number of places to wine and strong drink? Don't we quite often find people drinking alcohol in the Bible? Can't we assume, then, that Scripture generally does not condemn drinking alcoholic beverages? It's true that…

Read more

A collection of articles written by FB Meyer. Practical advice for the daily Christian life.

A NEW YEAR is opening before us, and there is some satisfaction in feeling that an opportunity will be afforded of making a really new start. Each true heart in which there is a spark of the Divine life turns eagerly towards the unblemished page, the untrodden way, of the…
BENEATH all exaggeration there is a basis of truth. When an American said that the whey which flowed from the making of a large cheese in his country was sufficient to run three sawmills; and when another affirmed that the soil of his farm was so prolific that the tendrils…
To be straight is to be true. There is no more important exhortation on the page of Scripture, than where the Apostle says, "Whatsoever things are true . . . think on these things." A friend of mine, educated in one of our great English schools, says that the most formative words of…
WHAT a shadow is cast over lives and homes by bad tempers! It is Sunday morning, God's day of rest and peace, when the worry and rush of the world should be quiet, and the voices of newspaper boys and hawkers of small wares should be still. A family of…
No flirting, young people, please! You cannot flit around the flame without the risk of burning your wings; and remember, if these are lost, you cannot get another pair; you may be able to crawl or limp, but you will never again bask in the sunbeams or dance with merry-hearted…
LONGFELLOW'S village blacksmith felt that "something accomplished, something done," had earned a night's repose; and I suppose that he did little else than shoe the farmers' horses, or put new shares to their ploughs; yet he had the perpetual consciousness that he was doing something in the world, contributing to…
No wonder that the common people hung on Christ's words. He was a Master of the Art of Illustration, because he sought his emblems, not from remote corners of creation, or its recondite processes, but from the common incidents of ordinary human experience. Salt and light, birds and lilies, gates…
Everyone needs some guidance on where to start reading and how to read their Bible. Below are Afrikaans & English printables - give it to every young believer that you give a Bible to.
Tips on reading your Bible

Where should I start?

Start by reading a chapter in the morning and evening. Mark in your Bible and write in a notebook everything that stands out in the chapter you read.

Read more

Wenke om jou Bybel te lees

Waar moet ek begin?

Lees jou Bybel in orde, moet nooit rondspring tussen boeke en hoofstukke nie. Hou by jou lees skedule, as jy laas Markus 1 gelees het lees jou nou Markus 2.

Lees meer


'n Rein hart gevul met die Heilige Gees

Met die ondervinding van wedergeboorte (Joh. 3:3) én die bevestiging daarvan deur die getuienis van die Heilige Gees (Rom. 8:16), vind ‘n radikale verandering van lewenswyse plaas (2 Kor. 5:17). Hierna volg ‘n proses van selfontdekking wat lei tot die behoefte aan ‘n dieper innerlike verlossing (vrymaking) en reiniging van die inwonende sonde asook die vervulling met die Heilige Gees.
In Heb 3 & 4 wys die skrywer vir ons die wonderlike belofte van God se rus, wat ‘n rein en oorwinnende lewe in Christus is. Hy vertel van hierdie belofte, en dan vermaan hy die Hebreërs in hoofstuk 5:12-14 dat hulle moet voortgaan na volwassenheid want hulle is nog kinders in die geloof.
Hier besef die weergebore Christen dat ‘n dieper werk in sy hart benodig word. Dat daar dinge is waaraan hy dalk nog vasklou of sonde wat hy nie wil laat staan nie of hy twyfel en vertrou God nie volkome nie. Hier gaan ons kyk na wat die stryd in ons binneste is en hoe om die pad na heiligmaking te begin.
deur Marius Wolfaardt Christen Leefstyl
Kol 2:6: Soos julle dan Christus Jesus, die Here, aangeneem het, wandel so in Hom, 1. Watookal die Here vir jou sê, doen dit. Joh 2:5 “Sy moeder sê vir die dienaars: Net wat Hy vir julle sê, moet julle doen.” - Moenie meer of minder doen nie, doen net dit wat Hy gesê het. Matt 28:20 “En kyk, Ek is met julle al die dae tot aan die voleinding van die wêreld. Amen.” – As ek doen wat Hy sê sal Hy met my wees. Doen wat Jesus sou gedoen het. Meet alles altyd hieraan.
by Marius Wolfaardt Christian Lifestyle
Col 2:6 As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 1. Whatever the Lord tells you to do, do it. Joh 2:5 “His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” Don't do more or less, but, just that which He tells you to do. Mat 28:20 “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” If you do what He tells you to do, He will be with you unto the end of the world. Always do what Jesus would do, measure everything according to this rule.
deur Marius Wolfaardt Christen Leefstyl
Hoe hanteer ek dit?

Mat 5:4 Salig is die wat treur, want hulle sal vertroos word.
Binne in die moeilike tye is die Here reeds besig om iets nuuts te maak, al sien jy dit nie raak terwyl jy in die vuur is of deur die rivier gaan nie. God het ‘n plan. Rou is natuurlik en is iets wat moet gebeur, dit is ‘n proses om deur te werk, maar daarna moet jy ook aan beweeg en nie hier vasval nie.

Assurance of Salvation

Is jy weergebore?



Om te WEET DAT JOU SONDE VERGEWE IS en dat Jesus nou in jou hart woon.
Lees meer
What Why How..?


What the Bible teaches us about being born again.
Read More
Wat Hoekom Hoe..?



Wat die Bybel ons leer van wedergeboorte.
Lees meer
English Sermons

English Sermons

Here is a link if you would like to listen to audio sermons by various preachers. Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.

Go to website