A Consistent Witness

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

One of the finest writers of his generation, Knut Hamsun was born in Norway on this day in 1859. Growing up in poor surroundings, he spent much of his youth just trying to earn a living, with jobs ranging from a shoemaker’s apprentice to a teacher. He spent years in America, traveling and working as a tram driver.

Through his journeys, he honed his skills as a writer, gradually turning to literature to express his observations. His talent was recognized in 1920 when he was awarded the Nobel prize in literature for his novel, Growth of the Soil.

His books, written with clear, beautiful imagery, championed the principle of hard work. In one novel he described how one character “read no books,” yet “his thoughts were often with God.” His focus was on the “simplicity and awe” of nature, and characters who loved “the solitude and the wide-spreading snow” while others struggled with the frustrations of modern life.

Yet to many throughout the world, Hamsun is remembered, not as a great writer but a traitor. During World War II, he actually was sympathetic toward the Nazi invasion of Norway. People never forgot this betrayal. After the war he was sentenced to the loss of his property, and spent his last years in poverty.

Perhaps in similar ways, today, few remember that Judas Iscariot spent three years as a disciple of Jesus, ministering in His name and sharing the Gospel. Yet, in the end, he became a traitor.

How easily any one can slip and drift away from the truth. We can be seduced by false ideas that sound attractive. It is essential that each believer seeks to stay faithful to God throughout his or her life. To be on guard against temptations that can pull us away.