Thursday, January 19, 2017

Twenty Things I Wish I Had Known in My 20's Part 2

Here are 10 more things I wish I had known in my 20's.  You can read the first 10 right here, if you missed it.

11. Your Character is Always More Important Than Your Accomplishments … this is true because who you are will always show up in what you do. It’s easy to set the goals and think about how much money you’d like to make, how far you’d like to get in your career, what you’d like to accomplish 5, 10, 15 years down the road.  It’s not wrong to have those dreams and goals, but it’s always more important to focus first on who you want to be instead of what you want to do.  If you allow accomplishments to get ahead of your character, that’s when you get in trouble.

12. Guard Your Heart … Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  What that tells me is every word, every action, every thought … all of what we do highlights what is in our heart because whatever is in control of our heart will direct our actions.  What needs to be transformed in our lives is not so much our situation or our relationships.  What really needs to be transformed is our hearts. Long-term transformation always travels the path of the heart. We need grace to transform what we love, what we crave, and what we serve. And, that’s the beauty of the Gospel!  Even though I've given myself over and over to an endless list of God substitutes, even though I've loved myself more than I’ve shown love to others, God comes to me in grace offered through Jesus Christ and begins a process that will result in the total transformation of my heart. (Tripp) Which is why a prayer like David’s in Psalm 52 … “Create in me a clean heart, oh Lord” … is one of the most powerful prayers we could pray. As I allow the Holy Spirit to work on my heart, He will always lead my heart to Jesus.

13. It Really Is Better to Give Than to Receive … Jesus said it Himself … “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”  I’m no certainly no brain surgeon or rocket scientist, but given the option of choosing to be more blessed or less blessed … I’m probably going to choose to be more blessed.  And, in God’s economy, the way I can choose to be more blessed is simply by choosing to be more generous.

14. It’s OK to Be Single … singleness is not a sickness.  For some the scariest thing in the world is to NOT have a boyfriend or not to have a girlfriend.  And, the reason it’s so scary for is because it’s easy to wrap your identity around someone of the opposite sex.  Singleness is not a sickness.  Moving from guy to guy or from girl to girl … that’s the sickness.  That’s unhealthy.  You are not defined by who you date.

15. Don’t Get Involved with the Wrong Person or at the Wrong Time … nothing will derail a life faster than getting romantically involved with the wrong person or getting involved with someone at the wrong time.  Be patient when it comes to relationships.  Don’t rush in to them.  Rushing now usually leads to regrets later and you’ll find yourself saying a few years down the road, “I wish I would have handled that differently.”  If you rush in to something, you’ll usually do it with the wrong person or you’ll be stepping in to something at the wrong time … which can be just as damaging.  Be patient.  Wait on God’s timing and be strong enough to walk away from the wrong person and to wait for the right time.

16. I Will Not Just End Up Where I Want to Be … you can hope and you can dream and you can have the best intentions … but if you do not deliberately set yourself on a path that leads to where you want to be, you’ll end up somewhere else. 

17. Stay in Touch with People … it doesn’t take long to lose contact with some of your closest friends.  Life happens.  Things get busy.  And, the reality is that some people are only meant to be a part of your life for a certain part of your life.  But, if there are friends you do not want to lose contact with, you’ll have to be intentional about that.  If you’re not, don’t expect to stay in touch with them except for the annual Christmas card.

18. Live on a Budget … money has a funny way of getting spent.  If you don’t keep track of it, you’ll never know where it’s going.  A budget helps your take control of your money and allows you to make your money work for you.

19. Don’t Hold Grudges … you never win when you hold a grudge because the grudge ends up holding you.  Life is short.  Move on.

20. What You’re Doing Now Matters … if you’re looking at pornography now, that will matter somewhere down the road.  If you’re having sex now, that will matter somewhere down the road.  If you’re going in to debt now, that will matter somewhere down the road.  Your past doesn’t just go away.  What you’re doing now has a funny way of following you around later.

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