"The garment of praise"

An innocent, active love for God is essential to Christian healing.

Originally, Pollyanna was the young heroine of a work of fiction by Eleanor Hodgman Porter. Pollyanna (Boston: The Page Company, 1913) . The orphaned child of a poor minister in the Midwest, she had a life lacking in most of the worldly goods. She persisted, however, in finding something in each situation about which she could say, "I can be glad about that!" Her expressions of gladness, which sometimes exasperated adults around her, she explained very simply as coming from a discovery made by her father. He had told her that he had counted eight hundred times in the Bible where we are exhorted to be glad or rejoice. He called them "the rejoicing texts" and told his daughter that if God told us eight hundred times to rejoice, He must want us to do it!

So, in the old story, the child persisted in pointing out the good around her and lifted the thoughts of many she met daily. Instead of being the blind optimist she is usually considered today, however, Pollyanna may be thought of as innocently and actively trying to obey the Bible's wisdom and, in the process, taking a firm first step in perceiving the reality of good.

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From the American Bible Society
November 20, 1989
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