Slowly disappearing from our everday usage, this colloquialism is said to have roots in both the English and French languages.
Before Chaucer’s time, the line was, “For he that naught n’assaieth, naught n’achieveth.” (That’s old English for you!)
Can you guess what the adage is?
In 1546, John Heywood listed his glossary version as far less English and much more Impossible. Impossible to read! However, some believe Heywood had translated a 14th century French quote which stated: “One who never undertook anything, never gained anything.” In today’s language: nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Is that what our Founding Fathers thought when they set out to build our republic? John Adams declared “facts are stubborn things.” Let’s investigate one facet to show just how stubborn they are.
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
Fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Threats by the King of England aside, these men did not pledge their all on a whim. This was a do or die situation. An impossible venture. As it turned out, some of the Founders lost their lives; some lost part or all of their families; some lost their fortunes. But all lost their honor in the eyes of the English.
From their venture, we gained a republic. One Nation Under God.
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, proved his faith and love in Jesus again and again. Beaten, stoned, imprisoned, boiled in oil and left for dead, he was eventually beheaded. We see he had counted the cost in his strong statement of faith penned in Phil.1:21.
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
In the last two decades, the term “venture capital” has added a financial component to this adage. Yet, as we saw in 2008 and again in these past few years, monetary gains can be unstable and fleeting.
The only venture with continued, appreciable returns is what we do for Jesus. Depending on the soil, planting seeds can be hard work. Intercessory prayer takes time and effort. Persecution is an option. But the spiritual gain on investment is, well, Heavenly!
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Mark 8:36, NKJV)
By author eMarie
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