Here is some great wisdom. It will most likely sound strange to your ears. In fact, we have been raised with almost the exact opposite message coming from the modern secular world.
Imitating Christ and Despising All Vanities on Earth
If we wish to be truly enlightened and enjoy life in its fullness and peace then we must learn to imitate Christ.
He who knows me walks not in darkness says the Lord (John 8:12).
Whoever wishes to understand fully the words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ. This is the greatest wisdom — to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world view. All is vanity, except to love God and serve Him alone.
Having a Humble Opinion of Self
If you think you know many things then you understand that there is much you do not know. Hence, do not assume your wisdom, but admit your ignorance
Love to be unknown and considered as nothing. To think of oneself as nothing and to think highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom.
Know the Truth
Happy is he who sees the truth, not in textbooks or so-called facts that fade, but as it actually is. Our opinions and senses often deceive us yet we discern very little.
The simpler of the heart a man becomes, the easier he understands sublime things, for he receives the light of knowledge from above.
Humble knowledge of self is a good path to God.
Prudence in Action
Do not yield to every impulse and suggestion but consider things carefully and patiently in the light of God’s will.
Reading the Holy Scripture
Truth, not eloquence, is to be sought in reading the Holy Scriptures; and every part must be read in the spirit in which it was written.
Avoiding False Hope and Pride
Vain is the man who puts his trust in men, in created things. Do not be ashamed to serve others for the love of Jesus Christ and to seem poor in this world.
Obedience and Subjection
It is a very great thing to obey; to live under a superior and not to be one’s own master, for it is much safer to be subject than it is to command.
Acquiring Peace and Zeal for Perfection
We should enjoy much peace if we did not concern ourselves with what others say and do, for these are no concern of ours. How can a man who meddles in affairs not his own, who seeks strange distractions, and who is little or seldom inwardly recollected, live long in peace?
The Value of Adversity
It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing.
So long as we live in this world we cannot escape suffering and temptation.
Avoiding Rash Judgment
Turn your attention upon yourself and beware of judging the deeds of other men, for in judging others a man labors vainly, often makes mistakes, and easily sins; whereas, in judging and taking stock of himself he does something that is always profitable.
Works Done in Charity
Never do evil for anything in the world, or for the love of any man. For one who is in need, however, a good work may at times be purposely left undone or changed for a better one. This is not the omission of a good deed but rather its improvement.
Excerpts from Imitation of Christ By Thomas Kempis