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- Nothing at all is to be valued, but life should be sweet. You should not serve things; things should serve you.
- Before the Lord God made man upon the earth He first prepared for him by creating a world of useful and pleasant things for his sustenance and delight. In the Genesis account of the creation these are called simply "things." They were made for man's uses, but they were meant always to be external to the man and subservient to him. In the deep heart of the man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come.
- A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (1957), p. 21
- One whose intentions and thoughts are cultivated will disregard wealth and nobility. One whose greatest concern is for the Way and righteousness will take lightly kings and dukes. It is simply that when one examines oneself on the inside, external goods carry little weight. A saying goes, "The gentleman makes things his servants. The petty man is servant to things."
- Xun Zi, “Cultivating Oneself,” E. Hutton, trans., Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (2001), p. 263