Living By Quotes

Recently had a bit of a conversation on Facebook with someone who shall remain fairly anonymous–but let’s say this: the person was someone of relative influence at a large Christian school in the area. The conversation started because of a quote he posted:

The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create It.” Peter F Drucker

It’s one of those quotes that sounds nice as a sound byte. But it leaves out something, which I pointed out in my response:

…except that by creating your future, you would be, by definition, excluding God. His ways and plans are far better than ours.

I intentionally goaded with this comment because he is part of a large Christian school and church. But the truth is there. If we create our own future, it leaves no room for God. But the defensiveness started with his response (and rather than typing [sic] throughout responses, I’ll just quote and leave at that):

Your reading to much into it Scott. Basically, meaning you need to br proactice with your future rather, than reactive. We know God’s always the center and the creator.

My response is along the lines of: really? The quote says that?:

Reading too much into it? Was taking the quote purely at face value…I may know God is at the center, as may you, but the quote says nothing to that affect. The quote then is misleading at best, and superficial at the least.

But the defensiveness continued, and perhaps I deserved it…but not really. My criticisms were of the quote, not the person posting it. And I think the criticisms of it are spot-on…we live too much in a world where people seem bent on living on glib little sayings rather than living life as real people dealing with real issues and real people. Faith is a part of that, and must be real as well.

Your making a mountain out of a mole hill, to be honest. A quote is what you get out of it from your perspective and world view. As a Jesus person (My Perspective & World View), I understand the quote and what it mean to my life from my perspective. That is how I apply it. You have your opinion and I have mine.

What do you think? Leave comments….

I do have to take issue with part of that last comment: a quote isn’t at all something we can take our “worldview” and wrap around it to interpret however we want…a quote is what it is, and it is only the person’s own worldview and actual words that give the meaning to the quote.

PS Learn to have a healthy distrust for people who say or write the phrase “to be honest”. Words matter.

Recently had a bit of a conversation on Facebook with someone who shall remain fairly anonymous–but let’s say this: the person was someone of relative influence at a large Christian school in the area. The conversation started because of a quote he posted: The Best Way To Predict The Future Is To Create It.” Peter…


  1. I have to agree that the reason to Quote someone else instead of just saying the words is to give meaning to the words that come from the person quoted. You are using the worldview of the person who you quoted, otherwise, just say words, not quote them.

  2. Yet another prime example of why I try to only post quotes from famous comedians. It is interesting to see you put this person on the spot, especially dealing with the subject matter. Way to keep them on their toes big guy 🙂

  3. I have always been a bit queasy when religious leaders succomb to quotes, often to the point of being cliche. I have to agree with the anonymous in this case in that at face value, taking charge of your future is the most accurate way of determining it's outcome. The crux of your argument is whether it is best to live life controlling your own future, or seeking God's will first. Although, the quote in of itself is correct at face value, you are correct in calling out use of quotes by clergy that dumb down faith.

  4. Funny. I had similar thoughts when I read this tweet: <a href=";… />Is faith about us, what we can do, our future that we create? I agree that the straight reading of this quote, regardless of the worldview of the author, contradicts the teachings of evangelical Christianity. We can't all read whatever we want into a quote, and appreciate it for what it means to us and expect people to not treat the bible the same way.

  5. I read a Slate article yesterday that really draws in on the fallacy of the quote as it relates to how believers should live. The article was about the ugly truth of the Tebow Superbowl Commercial. The author goes on to state that beyond the feelgood message of choosing life, the harsh reality is that the condition that Mrs. Tebow had was quite serious and that not only could have Tim have died, but she could have died as well. His point is boiled down as such that by choosing life, you may also be choosing death. The article is a pillar example of how the world prefers to take control of the future by creating it. The author's point of view is that choosing to abort in such a high risk pregnancy is the better choice because it ensures life of the mother. It doesn't matter what the aborted life could have been, life for the mother is guaranteed; although the author excludes that the future of the mother is most likely to be filled with remorse and grief.Also interesting is that the author uses pursuasive language to convince readers that such high risk pregnancies result in disaster and that choosing life is a high risk decision probabilistic to end poorly. The author goes on to give statistics following the pursuasive language, giving a figure that out of 7.5 million pregnancies, 46,731 had the same condition that Mrs. Tebow had. Given a mortality rate of 12 percent, 5,570 fetuses would be killed by placental abruption. The flip side and truth is that following the author's suggestion to error on the side of safety, 46,731 fetuses would be killed due to abortion. Premature births and long-term health effects are also brought up stating a 50% rate of abrupted pregnancies producing babies with low birth weights enough to risk long-term health damage. Now that's a broad statement "long-term health damage" which groups eye conditions that require glasses in the same boat as more severe long-term health effects. As a parent of two micro-preemies, the article really hits home in that I've had conversations about all of these long-term problems for nearly the past year starting during the pregnancy. Having concieved triplets, we were hit with a barrage of all the potential health conditions. As the pregnancy progressed, each successive prenatal visit produced another onslaught of potential problems. I can remember leaving one visit utterly upset such that selective reduction was part of the ensuing conversation. Skip forward to October 16, 2009 when my wife was admitted to the hospital due to a condition called umbilical blood flow reduction, which could progress into reversal. That evening we talked to the Dr. discussing what our options were if/when the cord flow reversed. 1) Wait out the pregnancy to let the other two fetuses develop or 2) go in and have an emergency C-section to give all three babies a fighting chance at life. It is important to state that we were only at 24+ weeks gestational age and that the in utero weights were off-the-charts low.On Saturday October 17, a checkup revealed that the cord blood flow indeed had reversed. Life comes at you fast, but my wife and I chose to give all three babies a fighting chance. I won't say that there's a happily ever after ending as the smallest did not make it past 4 days; however the story does not end there as the survivors are getting bigger by the day and that is more than enough to have a happy ending. Choose life when you can, but follow God always.

  6. Anon–you certainly missed the points on the post, none of which were "putting down" other Christians. What I was putting down was the tendency to live by quotes that do not either say what you "interpret" them to say or simply do not align with your faith. Never was my attack on the person.

  7. Oh my gosh you're a total instigator. But to be honest* you're right. I'm not sure he should have gotten so offended by your comments. You were just questioning the quality of the quote, but he reacted as if you were questioning his faith. *yes I know.