Here are 10 things I learned in 2011 and wanted to share with all of you . . .
- God loves us extravagantly in our humanity. He knows our weaknesses, our struggles, our temptations. And He loves us as we are. We can’t improve and cause Him to love us more.
- We need to develop a coherent narrative of our life story, so that it makes sense to us. Only when we’ve made sense of our lives can we help others make sense of theirs.
- There are questions you should not answer, because of who’s asking, when they’re asking, where they’re asking, and why they’re asking.
- Ministries for profit, or commercial ministries almost never work. The conflict between the sharp-edged requirements of profitability and the ethereal nature of ministry leads to failure in both, and this failure is primarily because of leadership.
- The day of your death was the last day you were supposed to live. Said another way, you have the opportunity to live every day of your life. Death is a certainty (the mortality rate continues to hover around 100%). But when you die is uncertain. It is almost totally in God’s hands. You can take perfect care of yourself and die in an instant when your bike is hit by a car. Or you can neglect yourself and collapse at 62 in front of your wife and friends. You cannot add to the number of your days. But you can make them count.
- We have convoluted Christianity until it is unrecognizable to its original form. On a personal level, we’ve made it about what you do vs. an intimate relationship with God and who you are in Him. And on a societal level, God has put all the resources into the world needed to alleviate hunger and disease. We’ve made the rituals of church attendance and personal growth ahead of Jesus’ directive to care for the physical needs of the poor.
- Contentment may be the greatest worship of all. That one can pause, be grateful, be ‘in the moment’ with no past reflection, nor future anticipation. Just be present with Him, in Him.
- True friendships with other men take time and effort; they don’t come easy or naturally. Men have different kinds of friends, and that’s ok But to have any male friends, you’ll have to initiate, and more than once.
- We can’t apply Christian rules and mores’ to non-Christians. Without Christ as their ‘lens’ and their conscience, they will not salute our values, our opinions or our decisions. “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” C.S. Lewis
- God answers essay questions, not multiple choice.
Question: Will you take time to reflect on what you learned this year? Will you write it down and post it here so we can all learn from you?