Erasmus 22 Principles (Revisited)

Desiderius Erasmus was a Dutch Renaissance humanist, monk, and theologian born in Rotterdam in 1466. He was committed to his work and held strong to doctrines such as free will. In the year 1492, poverty forced Erasmus to become a monk, and although he was offered many positions of honor and profit through the academic world, Erasmus declined them all, much rather wanting to stick with the sufficient, though uncertain, rewards of independent literary activity. Many great works were sold by Erasmus, including a certain Enchiridion militis Christiani, which is one of his most influential works. The title means “Handbook of the Christian Knight (or Soldier).” In it are values to follow and principles to help the mending of your evil, or wrong, ways. Generally speaking, a literary work on how to improve your life. I revisited his principles with applicable scripture. Interesting to say the least. Imagine the implications of a world that lived half of this list out…

  • Principle 1: Increase Your Faith – Even if the entire world appears mad.
  • May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
  • Principle 2: Act Upon Your Faith – Even if you must undergo the loss of everything.
  • In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:17
  • Principle 3: Analyze Your Fears – You will find that things are not as bad as they appear.
  • He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7
  • Principle 4: Make Virtue The Only Goal Of Your Life – Dedicate all your enthusiasm, all your effort, your leisure, as well as your business.
  • For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8
  • Principle 5: Turn Away from Material Things – If you are greatly concerned with money you will be weak of spirit.
  • If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” 1 John 3:17
  • Principle 6: Train Your Mind To Distinguish Good And Evil – Let your rule of government be determined by the common good.
  • Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” 3 John 1:11
  • Principle 7: Never Let Any Setback Stop You In Your Quest – We are not perfect–this only means we should try harder.
  • For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
  • Principle 8: If You Have Frequent Temptations, Do Not Worry – Begin to worry when you do not have temptation, because that is a sure sign that you cannot distinguish good from evil.
  • Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walk in wisdom will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26
  • Principle 9: Always Be Prepared for an Attack – Careful generals set guards even in times of peace.
  • Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
  • Principle 10: Spit, As It Were, In The Face Of Danger – Keep a stirring quotation with you for encouragement.
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  • Principle 11: There Are Two Dangers: One Is Giving Up, The Other Is Pride – After you have performed some worthy task, give all the credit to someone else.
  • Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
  • Principle 12: Turn Your Weakness Into Virtue – If you are inclined to be selfish, make a deliberate effort to be giving.
  • Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil.” James 3:13-15
  • Principle 13: Treat Each Battle As Though It Were Your Last – And you will finish, in the end, victorious!
  • I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
  • Principle 14: Don’t Assume That Doing Good Allows You To Keep A Few Vices – The enemy you ignore the most is the one who conquers you.
  • Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” Ephesians 5:3
  • Principle 15: Weigh Your Alternatives Carefully – The wrong way will often seem easier than the right way.
  • Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:14
  • Principle 16: Never Admit Defeat Even If You Have Been Wounded – The good soldier’s painful wounds spur him to gather his strength.
  • The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” Nahum 1:7
  • Principle 17: Always Have A Plan Of Action – So when the time comes for battle, you will know what to do.
  • Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3
  • Principle 18: Calm Your Passions By Seeing How Little There Is To Gain – We often worry and scheme about trifling matters of no real importance.
  • Do not be anxious about your life…”Matthew 6:25
  • Principle 19: Speak With Yourself This Way: If I do what I am considering, would I want my family to know about it?
  • He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harms.” Proverbs 13:20
  • Principle 20: Virtue Has Its Own Reward – Once a person has it, they would not exchange it for anything.
  • For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue.” 2 Peter 1:5
  • Principle 21: Life Can Be Sad, Difficult, and Quick: Make It Count For Something – Since we do not know when death will come, act honorably everyday.
  • I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
  • Principle 22: Repent Your Wrongs – Those who do not admit their faults have the most to fear.
  • In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.” Isaiah 30:15

Outstanding.

-jordan

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