by Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001)

(Chapter 16 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Blue Denim and Lace)

The roses have thorns and the thorns have roses. Life is made that way. All assets have liabilities, and all liabilities have assets. Those who laugh the most will cry the most. Those who cry the most will laugh the most. Those who love the dearest will suffer the dearest losses, for nothing is permanent in this life, and all must some day be given up. When a child is born, he is born to die. Hence, the joys of the maternity ward will some day be balanced by the tears of the mortuary. If there are a few children, there are fewer finger marks on the walls, fewer sleepless nights, and fewer doctor bills. Perhaps it is true that in the end our joys and sorrows all come out even. If one has few friends, he will lose few friends. The more friends that one has, the more times he will have to go to the cemetery with a broken heart. Since every asset has liabilities and every liability has assets, could it be then that none of us has a worse time than the rest of us? The asset of much money carries with it the liability of shallow friends. The asset of deep love carries with it the possibility of a deeper heartbreak. The more that is acquired, the more that must be lost. If the above be true, there are several lessons that can be learned.

1. Happiness depends upon whether we magnify the assets or liabilities. If every asset has a liability and every liability has an asset, if every bad has a good and every good has a bad, and if life's assets and liabilities are all evened out in the end, then each of us has the same possibilities of happiness. Those who look at the liabilities more than the assets become unhappy. Those who magnify the assets over the liabilities become happy. May we rejoice over the having of the child rather than sorrow over the fingerprints on the wall. Far too many are so busy looking at the lost column that they forget it all evens out in the end.

2. If the above be true, no one has it worse than the other. Even in our defeats there are lessons we learn that the victorious ones never know. Hence, one has no more right to complain than another.

3. A realization of this truth will cure envy. Why envy another if his liabilities match his assets as do ours? He has as much right to envy us.

4. This truth will make us choose a life that does the most for others. If the books balance out as we are supposing, then we will come out even regardless. Could it be then that the grasping of this philosophy will lead us to choose the kind of life that will do the most for others? In other words, if there is no way at all that we can gain more assets than liabilities, we may then center our attention on helping others to gain assets.

5. This truth will take away the desire for personal gain and selfishness. That thing that you want will bring with it a liability that you may not want to assume. The more things you own, the more things you can break. The more conveniences that one obtains the more repair bills he will have. Hence, we are led simply to say to God, "Give us what You know is best for us, and we will trust Your wisdom and judgment."

6. This truth will drive us to do the will of God. If all our attainments and obtainments lead us to the same place, then we must cast ourselves upon the Lord and His will. Nothing else will much matter but that which He wants us to do. If there is no asset that does not bring with it a liability, there can be nothing that we really do want or do not want. If we obtain it, we can rejoice because of its assets. If we do no obtain it, we can thank God for the privilege of not having to accept the liability. So since it is six of one and a half a dozen of another we can turn our eyes toward Jesus and say, "Thy will be done."


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