Here are some lessons I have
learned over the last number of years. I do not claim that they are the only
ones that I have learned, nor that I have learned them well, but I have learned
them - some the hard way, and some by observing others. They are also not in order
of importance. Perhaps they will edify you.
Forgive and forget. Don't carry grudges against others or
yourself. Bitterness defiles many.
12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root
of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
It is also troubling to hear someone else talk about their old grudges
against others, so don't do it and avoid listening to those who are filled with
grudges or bitterness.
2. Rejoice. Find reasons
to be cheerful. If you are saved you have no excuse not to do so. Anticipate blessings.
Eagerly look for reasons to be joyful and thankful. Don't wait to be taken
by surprise! Ephesians 5:20
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ;
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and
again I say, Rejoice.
3. Let the song in your heart come out. Sing, hum, whistle
or play a musical instrument. It will bless someone else. If you really
can't do that for some temporary reason, then sing in your heart to the Lord.
If you don't have a song in your heart - get one!
149:1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song,
and his praise
in the congregation of saints. Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in
you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns
and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
4. Be a blessing. Find ways to be a blessing
to someone. Even when they don't notice or say "thank you" you have the blessing
of knowing you did something right, and God will notice. If there's no one else
around - be a blessing to God. Tell Him how much you love Him and how
wonderful He is. Romans
14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things
wherewith one may edify another. Psalm 104:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD
my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
5. Say "thank you." No matter how small the service
rendered may seem or even if it helps someone else, not you - say "thank
you." This goes both for your family and the people around you as well as
for God. If you are not thanking the people you can see properly, you will
probably not be thanking God properly either.
4:20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that
loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not
seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his
brother also. Hebrews 13:15 By him
therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the
fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Colossians 3:15 And let the
peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body;
and be ye thankful.
6. Say, "I'm sorry I
when you mess up, and really mean it. Confess your faults, even to your children.
You aren't perfect and those around you know it. Admit it. It will help others
respect you and help you get the victory.
5:16 Confess your
faults one to another, and pray one for another, that
ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be
overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit
of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's
burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something,
when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
7. Simplify your life. Don't spend
an hour on your hair every day. What does make-up do that is of eternal value?
It isn't worth it. Find a simple attractive style. Find shorter, effective ways
to do a good job at your housework and spend the extra time studying
God's word, praying and with your family. Luke
10:39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard
his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and
said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid
her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha,
Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful:
and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
8. Be a friend. You won't keep all the ones
you make, but don't give up on people too soon. Don't be "too busy" to keep up
friendships. This is a great fault among Bible believing Christians today.
Proverbs 18:24 A man
hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend
closer than a brother. Proverbs 27:10 Thine own friend, and thy father's friend,
9. The cost of compromise
is more than the cost of separation. No matter how hard obeying God's
word may seem, in the long run, and sometimes in the the short run,
the "route of least resistance" will cost you far more.
17:32 Remember Lot's wife. And remember, Lot's wife did not
stay in Sodom, she just looked back. But, she was messing with the holiness
and judgment of God, and she partook of His wrath against sin even though the
brimstone wasn't falling yet!
10. Make godly friends.
If they are "narrower" than you - all the better, for you become what your
friends are. Choose people that are making a life habit of separating.
Proverbs 22:24 Make no friendship with an angry man; and
with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare
to thy soul. Proverbs 14:7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest
not in him the lips of knowledge. Nehemiah 10:28 And the rest of the people,
the priests, the Levites, the porters, the singers, the Nethinims, and all they
that had separated themselves from the people of the lands unto the law of God,
their wives, their sons, and their daughters, every one having knowledge, and
having understanding; 29 They clave to their brethren...
11. Relish God's creation. If "God
saw that it was
good", we should too. Watch a sunset or sunrise,
watch snow fall for a while, look at the stars and moon. Enjoy the flowers,
birds, bugs, etc. Look for wild animals. Delight in the color of a loved
one's hair or eyes (if natural :-) ); enjoy their smile. Cuddle a baby.
92:4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the
works of thy hands.
12. Be responsible.
Don't pass blame for something you could have done and didn't. Do things you can
see need doing without being asked. Romans
14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13. Color life. Look at God's creation. It is
vibrant with color. Decorating a house entirely in beige, brown, tan, white,
etc. is not natural.
31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are
clothed with scarlet. 22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing
is silk and purple.
the most out of things. Don't hide your emotions. Too many people
have burned theirs all up watching TV, movies, videos, etc. If something is funny
- laugh. If it's sad or touching - cry a little. If you are angry righteously
- show it. Romans 12:15
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Ephesians 4:26
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
15. Have a loose touch on things and money. It
is all going to burn anyway, and the only way you can "take it with you" is to
use it for God! If you have not used something for awhile and you know someone
else will, give it to them. If you have some money to spend, find a way to use
some of it for the glory of Jesus Christ. 2Peter
3:11 Seeing then
that all these things shall be dissolved, what
manner of persons
ought ye to be in
all holy conversation and godliness,
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your
heart be also.
Get some good vanity in your life in moderation. Enjoy a hobby. Make friends.
Grow flowers. "Waste" a little time doing something relaxing. Re-create.
These things help keep you in the battle. (See the whole book of Ecclesiastes.)
17. Rest. Even when there is "too much
to do." God established this principle when the earth was only 7 days old
and there was no sin yet! We have no business to neglect His example. He has given
rest to us. It helps us to look forward to heaven, and refreshes us for our daily
labor. Mark 6:31 And he said
unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for
there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people
18. Share burdens. Don't
keep them all a strict secret. Other Christians need to know that
others have their troubles too. Our troubles are given to help comfort others.
Bear burdens for others.
1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father
of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation,
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith
we ourselves are comforted of God.
6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
19. Talk to God.
ceasing. 1Thessalonians 5:17 The Spirit knows
how to interpret short prayers. (This is added to your regular prayer time.)
"Help, Lord." "Please keep him safe." "Thank you for _____." "Bless ______
with understanding." "Help ______ find peace in You." Talk to God in your
heart as you work. Tell Him what you desire, for others and for yourself. Tell
Him how great He is and how wonderful His works are. Bless HIM.
37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine
heart. Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is
far from the wicked: but he heareth the
prayer of the righteous.
time for people. After all, they are the only eternal things on the earth
besides the Bible! Everything else is headed for the "big bang."
3:11 Seeing then
that all these things shall be dissolved, what
manner of persons
ought ye to be in
all holy conversation and godliness,
21. Especially make time for children.
They are much more easily influenced for Christ than adults, and now is
the time to show them the love of Jesus!
10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them,
Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is
the kingdom of God. 15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the
kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. 16 And he took them
up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
22. Be about our Father's business. Stop worrying
about the corrupt government and conspiracies. Don't waste your time on politics. Find something
to do or talk about that will count for eternity. Yes, people are being deceived
and there is a certain amount of warning needed, but all too many are preoccupied
with things that do not edify the saints, nor keep souls out of hell. Jesus had
almost nothing to say about the rulers of His day, and they were dreadful.
Be a faithful steward and active ambassador of heaven. Rise to the call of duty
to God, not nationalism. Also, don't waste your time talking
Hollywood and sports.
4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 2Corinthians
5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing
their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us:
we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good
to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
2Timothy 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with
the affairs of this
life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to
be a soldier.
23. Strive against sin.
Stop making excuses and asking people to "be patient God isn't finished with me
yet." Take an active course in overcoming your sins. With each battle the
next will become a little easier. Pick out one struggle and work on it vigorously
for awhile, then work on another. Don't give up when you fail, confess it and
keep going. Ultimately Christ always gets the victory.
12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself,
lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4 Ye have not yet resisted
unto blood, striving against sin. 2Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries,
yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 1John 1:9 If we confess
our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us
our sins, and to cleanse
us from all unrighteousness. 2Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks
be unto God,
which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of
his knowledge by us in every place.
Learn from the triumphs and defeats of others. Wisdom does not have
to be attained first hand. We can take council from others' defeats and victories
and thus avoid much trouble and sorrow.
22:17 Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine
heart unto my knowledge. 18 For it is
a pleasant thing if thou keep them
within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips. 19 That thy trust may be
in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee. 20 Have not I written
to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge, Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21 She crieth in the chief
place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her
words, saying, 22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and
the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you
at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my
words unto you.
25. Do "yuckie" jobs
with a pleasant, even joyful attitude. It will inspire others and someone
will be glad they didn't have to do the job. :-) Don't shun work.
5:16 Rejoice evermore.
underestimate the value of Christian fellowship. Seek out Christians to
talk to, even if it has to be on-line. It will help keep you on the right course.
And remember, the devil will try to convince you to avoid fellowship when you
are down, so if you are discouraged and/or "don't feel like you really need to
go to church tonight" or to talk to another Christian, you may need it more than
Hebrews 10:24 And let
us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking
the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some
is; but exhorting
one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Going out of your way to speak to another Christian can make a real
difference in whether you give way to temptation or not. It sharpens you up.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth
iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. What's
more, they need it too, and in some cases you may be the only other Christian they
will talk to today.