The following “daily dozen” were the personal creed of Robert Louis Stevenson, the famed 19th century Scottish novelist and poet. An atheist, he unintentionally used Biblical truths as his major life principles. I’ve added Scriptures below each principle.
1. Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
- Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward. -Ecclesiastes 5:18
2. Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with the gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
- Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. -Philippians 4:11
3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t think that somehow you should be protected from misfortunes that befall others.
- God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? -Hebrews 12:7
4. You can’t please everybody. Don’t let criticism worry you.
- “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” -Matthew 5:11
5. Don’t let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.
- And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. -Romans 12:2
6. Do the things you enjoy doing, but stay out of debt.
- The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave. -Proverbs 22:7
7. Don’t borrow trouble. Imaginary burdens are harder to bear than the actual ones.
- “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:34
8. Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish enmities or grudges.
- “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.” -Leviticus 19:18
9. Have many interests. If you can’t travel, read about new places.
- And follow the impulses of your heart and the desires of your eyes. -Ecclesiastes 11:9
10. Don’t hold postmortems. Don’t spend your life brooding over sorrows and mistakes. Don’t be one who never gets over things.
- A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. -Ecclesiastes 3:4
11. Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
- “…you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” -Acts 7:35
12. Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.
- For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart. -Ecclesiastes 5:20
The Bible is exceedingly practical for daily life. Utilize its principles to live a more contented, productive, peaceful life here on this earth. Ultimately, follow its commands to live eternally in Heaven!