You can read 10 Things I Learned in 2016 (Part I) here.
On Monday, I wrote about the importance of reflecting on the past year to distill things you learned. I even suggested praying and asking God to help you. To conclude, here’s “Part II” my ‘learnings’ from 2016 . . .
- Our modern-day existence revolves around time. It’s the thing behind our busyness, our performance drive and our difficulty focusing. Everything and everyone is in a hurry. Are we afraid we’re going to run out of time? God never runs out of time. He’s never in a hurry. Read the story of Lazarus. Do you see how time seemed scarce to Martha . . . even Mary. But never for Jesus? Martha wanted Him to ‘perform.’ Mary was just sad. Both were disappointed in the moment but joyful later. Could that be true of us?Are we letting the crush of time steal our joy? One of the biggest differences between God and man is our perception of time. The only way to slow down is to just do it and trust God with the outcome! (Read more on this here).
- Empathy is pausing my thoughts and feelings long enough to engage with the thoughts and feelings of others. Really listening engages my imagination so I can imagine what the other person is experiencing. It helps me get into their ‘frame of reference,’ to let them know I understand, and to show them the selfless love and compassion of Jesus. (Read more on this here and here).
- If your closest friends aren’t like-hearted with you, it may be time to fire them and find replacements. There’s a difference in like-minded people and like-hearted Like-minded people think alike but like-hearted people want the same things. I want to ‘do life’ with like-hearted people . . . people who are all-in for Jesus and want to make disciples. (Read more on this here).
- The anemia of Jesus-followers is not just their lack of prayer but their inability and unwillingness to engage in listening prayer. We rattle on and on, praying the same words and telling God things He already knows. All the time, He’s sitting there with the answers to our heart’s questions . . . wanting to help us, but we’re too afraid, too busy, or too faithless to ask and listen.
- “It is what it is” may be one of the most helpful mottos we can embrace. It focuses us on the here and now, on accepting people and circumstances, and on trusting that our God is totally trustworthy and in charge. Our job is to trust, love, serve, give and be grateful. And to do so joyfully! Don’t lie to yourself, don’t spin reality into fantasy. Accept things as they are and move forward with love in faith. (Read more on this here).
So . . . that’s the ‘cream of the crop’ of stuff I learned this year. This blog isn’t usually a forum for comments and discussion, but we’d love for you to post your top ‘learnings’ in the comment section. Just click “Comment here” below and share with all of us. And one more thing . . .
Readership of our posts grew 30% in 2016. Thank you for sharing our posts and including more ‘like-hearted’ people in our tribe. As we move into the new year, I challenge you to spend more time with the Father . . . to seek His heart more consistently, to enjoy His love, truth and beauty, and to invest in the lives of others for spiritual purposes. Godspeed and Happy New Year!