This past week is the 126th anniversary of the birth of one of my favorites in all of church history — young William Borden. Every Christian, especially every young person, should read his biography, Borden of Yale.
William Borden, born November 1, 1877, was heir to the then well-known Borden family fortune. Though he personally became a millionaire in 1909 at age 21, he never bought a car or a house, and would only travel by train. Instead of living a rich and lavish comfortable life style, William used his money for investing in rescue missions, the homeless, and various ministry needs wherever he saw it would be most needed.
Finally, William gave the rest of his money away, at least one million dollars, to such works as Princeton Theological Seminary, Moody Church and Moody Bible Institute, and the China Inland Mission, when he left for the mission field, so he would be forced to trust God by faith, depending on the Lord and not on his own reserves of money; thus his motto became “no reserves”.
He also was always making progress in all things– progress in the Bible, in leading others to Christ, in his growth in grace, and in ministry vision and evangelism; he was advancing in all areas, thus his motto grew — “no retreats.”
Also, he lived every day so as to maximize his fruitfulness; he did not waste time and lived beyond his years in wisdom and maturity, living fully for Christ even as a teenager and into his twenties. When he came to the end of his life, at age 25, after one month of sickness, he could say finally, “no regrets.”
At his death, written in the back of his Bible, were found three phrases — “NO RESERVES – NO RETREATS – NO REGRETS”.
Today, William Borden would be 126 years old. Somehow, even if he had lived to be 100, I believe he would be saying the same thing.
He died at age 25, but now at 60, though I do not have what he had, I want to live as he did.
– Mack Tomlinson
[Here is a 3 minute video on William Borden’s life]