Persistence Sermon Illustrations

Persistence Sermon Illustrations

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"Tommy, can you tell me the difference between perseverance and obstinacy?"

"One is a strong will and the other is a strong won't."


The tough job that tests your mettle and spirit is like the grain of sand that gives an oyster a stomach ache. After a time it may become a pearl.—Eastern Sun


Keep pushing—'tis wiser than sitting aside
And dreaming and sighing and waiting the tide,
In life's earnest battle they only prevail
Who daily march onward and never say fail.

In life's rosy morning, in manhood's firm pride,
Let this be the motto your footsteps to guide:
In storm and in sunshine, whatever assail,
We'll onward and conquer, and never say fail.—Anon


A small boy was learning to skate. His frequent mishaps awakened the pity of a bystander. "Sonny, you're getting all banged up," he said. "Why don't you stop for a while and just watch the others?" With tears still rolling down his cheeks from the last downfall, he looked from his adviser to the shining steel on his feet and answered: "Mister, I didn't get these skates to give up with; I got 'em to learn how with!"—Arkansas Baptist


The clever fellow does not always win. The plugger, aiming for a definite goal, often passes him in the race, says G. G. Barnard.—Friendly Chat


Fate can slam him and bang him around, and batter his frame till he's sore, but she never can say that he's really down, while he bobs up serenely once more. A fellow's not dead till he dies, nor beat till he no longer tries.—Sunshine Magazine


The mechanical engineer tells us that it takes six times as much power to start a flywheel from a dead stop as it does to keep it going once in motion, according to an item in The Right Hand. In other words, it takes only one sixth as much effort to keep going once you are on the way as it does to stop a bit, and then start again. When tempted to slacken just because things are coming your way, remember the flywheel.


Engineers were called in to give their ideas on a possible railroad through the Andes Mountains. These men proclaimed the job an impossible one. Then American engineers were called in to give their opinions whether the railroad could follow along the side of the River Rimac.

Even these intrepid engineers claimed that it could not be done. As a last resort, a Polish engineer named Ernest Malinowski was called in. Malinowski's reputation as an engineer was well known, but he was at that time in sixtieth year, so the authorities feared to impose such a rigorous task on the man.

Malinowski assured the representatives of the various countries interested that the job could be done, and in his sixtieth year he started the highest railroad in the world.

The railway began to worm its way across the Andes from Peru with sixty-two tunnels and thirty bridges along its way. One tunnel ran 4,000 feet in length, 15,000 feet above the level of the sea. Twice, revolutions in some of the countries through which the railroad passed, held up construction. Once Malinowski had to flee Peru and remain in exile for a time—but nothing deterred this aging Pole in completing the engineering feat that became one of the wonders of the world in 1880. —Future, Friendly Chat


Americans are noted for their soft hearts and deep sym-pathies for the "underdog." Wouldn't it be better if somehow the underdog could be so taught that he would quit being an underdog?

We must believe it can be done and determine to do it—so must the underdog. First of all, he must be taught persistence. Salesmen do the impossible every day. So do most all successful people.

A survey made by the National Retail Dry Goods Association reveals the following results:

48% of the salesmen make one call and quit; 25% make two calls and quit; 15% make three calls and quit; that shows that 88% of the salesmen quit after making one, two, or three new calls.

But 12% keep on calling. They do 80% of the business.

The 88% who quit after the first, second, or third calls do 20% of the business. The underdog must be imbued with a deep-down desire to achieve, to be somebody, to work and budget and dream. He must be content to start—and start in a small way, gradually working his way to responsibility and success. Perhaps he can be given the stories of successful families and groups to study. He can read the stories of people with all sorts of handicaps who have succeeded.

Education for everybody will never be a reality until, by educational processes, we teach the underdog to quit being an underdog.


He was only twenty-three years old when a Gloucester youth saw this advertisement in a Boston newspaper: "Wanted, young man as an understudy to a financial statistician. P.O. Box 1720."

He answered the advertisement, according to an item in The Red Barrel, but received no reply. He wrote again—no reply. A third time—no reply. Then he went to the Boston post office and asked the name of the holder of Box 1720. The clerk refused to give it. He saw the postmaster. He, too, refused; it was against the rules.

Early one morning an idea came to the young man. He rose early, hurriedly prepared his own breakfast, took the first train to Boston, went to the post office, and stood sentinel near Box 1720.

After a long interval, a man appeared, opened Box 1720, and took out the mail The young man trailed him to his destination, which was the office of a stock brokerage firm. The young man entered and asked for the manager.

The youth told the manager how he had applied for the position of understudy to a statistician—that he had written three times without receiving any response, and had been refused the box-holder's name at the post office.

"But," queried the manager, "how did you find out that I was the advertiser?"

"I stood in the lobby of the post office for several hours, watching Box 1720," answered the young man. "When a man came in and took the mail from the box, I followed him here."

The manager said, "Young man, you are just the kind of persistent fellow I want. You are employed!"—Sunshine Magazine

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