by Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001)

(Chapter 19 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Blue Denim and Lace)

When God called me to preach, all of my talents were hidden. In fact, no one could see them! I could not make a public speech. When I enrolled in college, I took several courses in speech and public speaking the first year. One of the first things I learned was the rule that one should speak to the back row and then the rest of the audience would hear him also. If the person in the back can hear, all the others can hear.

This little rule can become a philosophy of life. If a person will do the smallest task well, the other tasks will take care of themselves. If one can do the least enjoyable chore well, all the others will be done well. If one does well that which is hard for him to do, he will do a good job on the rest. If one is nice to the ugliest,. he will be nice to all. If he is kind to the unkind, then he will of necessity be kind to the kind.

Anyone can love the lovely, but he who loves the unlovely will automatically love the lovely. Anyone can do the easy tasks, but he that does the hard tasks will subconsciously do the easy tasks. Anyone can do the challenging job well, but the one who does well the insignificant work will perform properly the significant task. Oh, how we need to learn this simple truth: Preach to the back row and everyone else can hear easily.

Someone has well said, "The light that shines the farthest shines the brightest at home." What we are saying is what we have said many times before: The secret to success is not talent, but character; not gifts, but discipline. The successful man must force himself to do that which he is supposed to do though it be an undesirable task. This comes not from inspiration from without, but from within. It comes from our doing the task because we are supposed to do it, not because we are inspired to do it. It comes from obedience to schedule, obedience to planning, and obedience to discipline. Basically, it is obedience to self - when self is disciplined. It is obedience to duty, obedience to right and a subconscious doing of that which is supposed to be done. This is character.


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 “I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion, that has
warmed this cold world's heart for two thousand years.”