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Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #63 --- Heroism

Updated on March 23, 2011

Quotations on Heroism

Heroism has great value in life and is varied. Without it we could not make much, if any progress. ... Conviction needs courage to become a living force. It is one thing to have a vision, and another to declare it. It is one thing to have knowledge, and another to expound it. It is one thing to have a valid and substantiated opinion, and another to state it. It is one thing to detect sham and sin, and quite another to unmask them. ... It is so manifestly one thing to know the truth and another to stand up for it and to proclaim it. ...

Heroism is individual and social, physical and moral, lustrous and humble. ... We need in our daily life the heroisms of the humble, moral host who constitute the mainstay of this land and who are the backbone of America, the men and women and children who in an inconspicuous, but none the less eminent, fashion, give themselves as living sacrifices upon the altar of devotion to God and home and country. I would have you again remember if you have been so ungracious as to forget the offerings of that countless host of simply, homely people who daily live for the common good and the public weal. ...

To my mind the heroism of the plain people, who have little but who serve so much, to whom life offers such a meager portion but who make it go so far, is a most sublime, as it is a most compelling, fact of human life. ... We should thank God for the heroism of those among us who have so little and who live so largely, in proportion as they have capacity and opportunity, for the common weal. We should thank God that they are faithful, that they know how to live simply, that they are moral. For if ever the man and women who are the burden-bearers of the world’s work become saturated with the vices, the follies and the fallacies concerning life that infest the minds of those who constitute the topmost and the nethermost strata of society, the world will have short shrift.

—Ira Wemmell Henderson, Corbett’s Herald, Providence, R.I., Oct. 12, 1907.

It is the commonplace lives which are of value in the world. The character which is demanded in commonplace conditions is the same as that which sets on high lives the most conspicuous, the most influential, the most honored. All heroism is of a piece. There are no two kinds of goodness. Commonplace lives call for a capacity sometimes and a courage often greater than those demanded in greater circumstances. For if a conspicuous position and a famous name bring great responsibility, they bring also powerful stimulus. They bring an appeal, a moral obligation, an encouragement to noble living. If the eyes of the world are upon a man he braces up, takes his courage in both hands, lives finely, or prepares to die picturesquely. We shall never know how much of the supreme courage of men whose daring has become the imperishable memory of their kind was innate and intrinsic, and how much of it was born of some heroic hour when they felt the glorious propulsion of the expectation of a million souls. We shall never know how brave they might or might not have been amid the humdrum commonplace to which ordinary persons are made subject. But to keep on being good–this is heroism. And heroic goodness, amid the commonplace surroundings of our ordinary little lives, is divinity draped in drab.

—C.F. Aked, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 9, 1925.

The real heroes are those people who do not wait for the crisis, but who are constantly trying to achieve for themselves and others a more abundant life.

—Eugene M. Frank, The Topeka Daily Capital, Topeka, Kan., Aug. 19, 1951.

Heroism consists in an abandonment of selfishness and self in the interest of a supreme cause.

—J.B. Gambrell, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, April 11, 1918.

A hero is not aware that he is a hero. If he pauses to congratulate himself on his heroism, this is the moment he is no longer a hero. True goodness asks no reward, and this is especially true of Christian righteousness; indeed, it is surprised to receive any reward.

—Robert Bearden, The Louisiana Methodist, Little Rock, Ark., Jan. 9, 1964.

A genuine hero is not one who wants to be a hero. He responds to a call of need without thinking of himself or what it may cost him. To be a totally selfless person is to be a hero. The world may not lace a marker on your grave as a hero but God has for you a crown of life.

—John R. Brokhoff , The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., July 22, 1957. 

"I am perfectly willing to do my best," was the polite response made by one who was called on to render a service. Yes, we need men to do their best, and even do their duty, but the heroes of the world have been men who for love's sake accomplished all that man plus God could do. Add to yourself the power of God, and you can do more than your best.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Oct. 15, 1922.

By heroes I mean those who have eschewed sordid selfishness and are honestly endeavoring to elevate themselves and their associates above the plane of mere materialism--those who by heroic effort seize the Promethean torch and lead to those higher and better fields of endeavor, which create a noble citizenship and bring men nearer to the ideals of a greater and growing Christian civilization.

—A.W. Houston, San Antonio Daily Express, San Antonio, Texas, June 7, 1909.

The heroes of the world are those who try, and perhaps the most radiant figures in all the splendid company of immortals are those who keep on trying after repeated failures. Let's live the trying life, for this will prove in the end the triumphant life.

—J. Benjamin Lawrence, Baptist Record, Jackson, Miss., Sept. 21, 1916.

What is the essence of heroism? Is it not renunciation of self in devotion to the welfare of others? Is it not the exaltation of duty in total abnegation of the interests of self? Is it not the submergence of the individual in sacrificial service to that which is bigger and higher and nobler than self? Is it not the finding of life by losing it?

—Emma G. Sebring, Educational Review, October 1915.

When anyone does an heroic action at some cost to himself, he knows that though it costs, it counts. The highest reaches of joy in this world are those which have come from ministering to others through some denial of self.

—Fulton J. Sheen, North-Central Louisiana Register, Alexandria, La., March 15, 1957.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8.) There is heroism in moral purity more than in deeds of daring.

—Edward Mack, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., June 1, 1903.

It takes a hero to stand alone with God.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 28, 1928.

Faith is the secret of all heroic endeavor. As it furnishes the basis for the activities in the simple affairs of our lives, so it must be the stimulating force for the great enterprises we would do for God.

—M.M. Wolf, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, Nov. 3, 1924.

A man cannot be a hero in the real sense unless he is a Christian, for heroism is the embodiment of true manhood. To be a true man you must be a Christian. Carlysle says, in speaking of the hero: "His heroic soul does not sell its justice and nobleness; it does not ask to dine nicely and sleep warmly; poverty is its ornament. It does not need plenty, and can abide well its loss. There needs not a great soul to make a hero; there needs but a God created soul which will be true to its origin."

Heroism is self-devotion to moral principle. It is not reckless valor sporting for a life which ill fortune has blighted; it is the determination of Christian principle. It is that in character that will stand true even if all the world be false; it is that power that a man has, when he will not run with the crowd, that he will dare to stand alone in the seemingly unimportant things as well as the great things. To become a hero in big things we must prepare by doing the small things well.

Heroism is the spiritual defiance of all evil; it is the mainspring of noblest action, the grandest sentiment and highest aspiration; it is the divine relation that at all times unites a great man to other men. It is that force and love in character that makes people forget themselves and work for other men and other causes.

While it is good to look at great men who have given their lives for others, we must not forget that Jesus Christ was the greatest hero that the world has ever known. God is calling on every man and woman to be heroic in some way or another; in fact, every follower of Jesus Christ must be heroic.

There are several things required to make a hero. A hero is not selfish but a sincere man, a thinker, a believer. Self-sacrifice and self-denial are also required in a true hero. Let us also remember that there is such a thing as fireside heroisms--the dally endurance of trial and the exercise of self-denial.

—John W. Kensit, Austin Daily Statesman, Austin, Texas, Oct. 17, 1910.

The greatest heroism of all is the heroism of lifelong constancy. God is immutable; we are fickle and changeable. But we approach the immutability of God by constancy. Oh, this grand, heroic virtue of constancy in man! Men are free. Oh, how can a man who is free bind and bridle his freedom so as to make it thank and act as if it were moved by the eternal and immutable laws of God? How can a man whose soul is free bind himself to a low of necessary to that he will walk in the straight and narrow path, just as the eternal stars follow in their courses? And a man who is by nature fragile, who has his weaknesses and his natural defects, ho, how can he protect himself on all sides and guard against every danger, so that he may go through life without tripping or falling? Oh, that is the divine accomplishment that makes a man divine, that makes a man not only free but perfect, and cures all the faults of his weakness. Constancy! ...

A life of heroic constancy is a fixed and lifelong immutability imposed on the freedom of the human will, and a steady and inflexible line of duty forced upon the weaknesses and defects of the human heart--inconstancy made constant, and defectibility turned into a perfection almost divine. ...

A Christian hero is a man of lifelong constancy; this character of Christian holiness is a reflection of the immutability of God, and as we become constant we become most like unto God. ... Be constant to the end. ...

We must be perfect. Sanctity means perfection. Sanctity means heroic constancy.

—David S. Phelan, Western Watchman, St. Louis, Mo., July 1, 1909.

The greatest battles are not always noisy. Neither is the greatest hero always the conspicuous hero. But the real hero is the one who does guard duty faithfully and who goes after the enemy until he falls fainting with his face to the enemy.

The measure of greatest heroism is faithful performance of duty. ... In proportion as God is willing to divide spoils with the fainting, who in obscurity does his best, so God shows his displeasure toward the coward who will not serve when he has opportunity. The man with the one talent who shirked was pronounced, "thou wicked and slothful servant." The door was shut in the face of the five virgins. For what? For failing to do their duty. These shall go away into everlasting fire, for shirking and not doing their duty. ...

The real measurement of greatness is faithful service and the measure of heroism is courage for the right.

Conspicuous leadership is not necessarily greatness. ... Few of earth's heroes or benefactors have ever been arrayed in purple or sat upon thrones and heroes are not all conspicuous or famous. The candle is the sailor's beacon. The lighthouse is for the great ship. Lesser lights lead in the greatest number of souls from infinite storms of wrath. ...

A woman says: "I must be of little use. My life is humdrum business, picking up things others misplace, getting the children ready for school and church, patching and darning. Man's work is from sun to sun, but woman's work is never done."

Well, do not forget God because He has blessed you with a husband. Do not forget God because He was good enough to bless you with children. Be all the more faithful to Him. ...

It is not so hard to be true in the lead when men are watching as in the obscure place, with only God looking on. After all has been said about conspicuous leadership this much is true. No heroism of others will answer for a lack of your own fidelity in the place where you are. ... Be faithful in season for once in a long time there is a harvest and victory, and out of season, for most of the time little is doing to inspire, and the outlook to human eyes only is discouraging. Endure hardness as God's soldiers and in due season ye shall reap if ye faint not.

—J.P. Green, Houston Daily Post, Houston, Texas, Sept 18, 1916.

Don't judge a man by his clothes. There is a pure heart, a heart of honesty, integrity, good principle, a heart of pure gold often beneath a cheap cotton shirt, wet with honest sweat. He is the hero of the day, the hero in life's battle out yonder, the hero with a heart of gold.

This hero overcomes whatever besets him. He looks the world squarely in the face with his chin stuck out, ready to "take it." He bears his burdens cheerfully, with patience and fortitude and does not inflict them upon his friends, for he well knows they have their own. He sees something good in everything. He hears the voice of God in the breezes and in the voice of the bird.

These heroes, we believe, constitute the majority of mankind. There is more good in any and every individual than bad, if we would only look for it. ...

The average, ordinary, every day working man, the man who labors for a living, who invokes the injunction of Holy Writ that "in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread," is the man on whose shoulders will fall the responsibility of keeping the ship of state of this country on an even keel.

Sometimes we think we have the hardest time of anybody; that nobody in the world has as hard a time as we do. But we don't know about the other fellow and his affairs of life. If we did, it is quite likely we would conclude that all have about the same amount of trials and tribulations, downsettings and uprisings, as we travel through this earthly pilgrimage. So we are all wearing old clothes just alike when it comes to that.

—Emmett J. Lee, The Gazette, Farmerville, La., July 14, 1937.

The greatest heroes the world has produced have been those who were concerned about the welfare of others.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Oct. 6, 1948.

A duty recognized is a command that involves moral consideration. Love added to the recognition of duty prompts a man to do a hero's part and paves the way for the recognition among the great.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., May 27, 1923.

Heroism is self-giving for what we confidently believe is worth more than self. As a man believes in his heart, so is he.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 29, 1933.

Heroism, the king of virtues, that dares all and gives all for the truth, is faith's own final sacrament.

—Nephi Jensen, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 29, 1933.

The real hero never asks for the chance to get something for nothing.

The real hero asks for nothing better than an opportunity.

The real hero never hunts danger, but he never dodges duty.

The real hero is usually more ready to make excuses for others than for himself.

The real hero despises favors, pulls, tips and special privileges.

The real hero is first of all master of his own spirit.

The real hero always has a sublime foundation of faith for his courage.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., June 11, 1931.

The greatest of the world's heroes are those who fight and win the daily battles with themselves, who sacrifice sensual pleasures for spiritual uplift; who struggle against appetite and greed in order to gain the victory over carnal things, who might be called martyrs to the cause of righteousness.

Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 4, 1917.

No man can play a hero's part who carries not a hero's heart.

Zion's Herald, Boston, Mass., July 31, 1901.


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