20 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years

In spite of all of the “over the hill” jokes, I am excited to have turned 40! Every decade brings new experiences and new insights. I decided to take a few minutes to reflect on all that I’ve learned over the past 40 years of life and then write those insights down. So here is that list!

1. People are mean. Occasional flashes of kindness does not make us inherently good. It makes us fake. There has to be a new operating system installed. And religion won’t do it. Because…

2. Religion is bad. It is a cheap, selfish substitute for a relationship with God. Rules won’t lead you to God. His kindness will. And it will always lead to a relationship. Not religion.

3. “Christians” may not know Jesus. Just because I go to church doesn’t mean I live for Jesus. Trusting and living for Jesus makes me a Christian. Some of the meanest people I’ve ever known go to church. Now, I’d like to name those people:

You got excited didn’t you?

4. Arguing is stupid. No one wins. Relationships are destroyed. But…

5. Conflict is good. It stretches us and causes us to consider someone else’s perspective and may lead to deeper discovery.

6. Jesus is everything. If a religion calls itself “Christian” and is more focused on me, the “church” or what I get in eternity, run.

7. Negativity is a virus. It spreads like wildfire and it is now at pandemic levels in our world. -And we thrive off of it even as it slowly kills us.

8. Social media is not evil. It’s a tool. A tool reflects the user. Thus, social media reflects us. And it’s our hearts that are often shown to be evil.

9. Never follow your heart! You can’t trust it because it is driven by emotions. Always choose wisdom. It’s better than my emotions. And more dependable.

10. I don’t live to be entertained. I don’t have to be busy every second of my day. Quiet and calm are necessary for my mental health.

11. A person can think. People cannot. Mob mentality ruins stuff.

12. Satan is a punk. And yes, he’s real.

13. Some people are scaffolding for your life; designed to be there for a short time as you grow. Others are foundational; designed to be there for the long haul when the scaffolding falls away. Don’t mistake the two!  If people want to leave your life, let them go.  But…

14. Fight for your foundations.  The people who are in your life for the long haul are worth the effort you give to keep them.

15. Peanut butter and chocolate is the greatest combination since Noah and the Ark!  (They can’t all be serious can they?)

16. Take and accept correction. It separates the wise from the foolish.

17. Emotions are valuable and should not be fully used for every event and circumstance in life.  I’m learning to pick and choose what I give my emotions to.

18. The church is not here for my entertainment or comfort. It is an organism designed and commissioned by Jesus and sent into the world with a mission. If I treat her badly, I will answer to her Savior.

19. Life is short. Have a plan and do your part.

20. Yesterday’s not nearly as good as today is and tomorrow will be. Don’t live in the yesterdays. Get up and be ready for today’s new experience.

 

So, that’s the first 40…here’s to the next 60 years ahead!

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