In August 2014, I first heard about Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich at the John Maxwell Team Certification Program. Paul Martinelli, who partnered with Scott Fay in 2011 to co-found the John Maxwell Team, mentioned that this was a life-changing book for him. Then, I met a young entrepreneur at the HR Summit in Dubai last November, who said the same thing. I resolved to check it out…
Since this month’s focus is on the 8th Commandment—“Thou Shalt Not Steal”—I thought again of this book. It turns out Hill wrote this book in 1937—in the midst of the Great Depression, which lasted from 1929 until 1939. During this time, the country faced 25 percent unemployment (as depicted at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C., pictured above). Unfortunately, some Americans resorted to petty theft as a means of getting items they needed or could not afford because of their economic status. Many of the people that resorted to petty theft did so as a way of putting food on the table for their families.
Hill encouraged a different mindset.
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To celebrate our church’s 40th Anniversary (University Baptist Church), our Senior Pastor developed a 40-week sermon series based on the Ten Commandments—covering each commandment for 4 weeks. The Tenth Commandment says, “Thou shalt not covet.” Or as Eugene Peterson puts it in The Message, “No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17). Our Pastor noted that covetousness is checked by contentment and thankfulness. In fact, the way out of covetousness is to learn contentment…which brings us to Thanksgiving 2014.
I am reminded of the old hymn, “Count Your Blessings”, which was written by Johnson Oatman in 1897—based on 1 Thessalonians 5:18, which says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” The refrain of the song says: Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
So, that’s what I’ve done in the following page…tallied my blessings from 2014. And like Alexander’s big brother says in the movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, I am #Blessed!
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