I don’t like talking about myself. I’d much rather talk to you about God. Yet a friend asked me if I ever talked about my struggles or weaknesses or problems.
Despite my normal bend…here are some lessons learned. Yep. Some bumps and bruises learned this year.
1. Listen. It’s easy to listen to God. I like what He’s talking about and speaking. I admit I sometimes get lost listening to people especially if I don’t know why information is being shared. Sorry. My brain works hard to figure out why I’m being told something. Do you want help? I problem solve all day. So social conversations aren’t easy always. If you’re just chatting, my brain internally can say, “Why am I being told this?” I’m learning to just listen…listen…Actively listen. It’s loving. 🙂 Don’t problem solve…listen…don’t analyze…listen. Love this person by listening.
2. Don’t advise unless asked. I had a friend going through something similar to what I’ve walked through. I offered what I thought was insight. He became very angry and combative. I didn’t tell him what to do. I simply stated what I had experienced. Oops…go back to 1. Just listen. Ouch! He was angry…
3. Direct communication can lead to miscommunication. I am a direct, not passive person. So I’m learning to ask God when to speak and when to just let it go…let it go! Let it go! Yes I’m singing the song from Frozen. 🙂
4. Obedience is costly yet fruitful. God has asked me to take leaps of faith in 2014. I mean truly stretching things. There are many times I’ve fought His attempts to get me out of the boat or back in ministry. I had my heart broken in ministry before. I had no desire to be involved in ministry again. Nope…comfy in my cubby with God. My greatest wounds were inflicted by believers. Yet God calls us to focus on Him, and forget those things which are behind.
5. Some people are just nice to you because you’re in their proximity, yet they don’t love you. So when people say, “I love you,” I wait to see if their actions align with their words. My goal is not to judge others. It’s to stay connected to Him so I have love for me and others. God’s the Source of love. I don’t count on others to fill my love tank or trust just because they say something it’s true. The scientist in me says, “Is there any evidence?”
6. Keep God as your best friend!
7. God can do more in a moment than anyone could in a lifetime. Expect big things from God.
8. There are some good people in the world, yet it takes time to get to know if the ones you meet are genuine or just being Christian nice.
9. Let your critics help you grow. Gosh…I have unsolicited input at times. I listen and attempt to grow, even if their assessment is off. The question is, “God is any of this true? If so, help me grow.” Never stop learning or listening.
10. God’s not as hard on my imperfections as I am or anyone else.
11. Listen to God. Wise counsel is great, yet God trumps advisors. If you know God is speaking to you, He holds you accountable for what He says. Respect, honor, and submit to authority, yet obey God. Just as Daniel obeyed God instead of man.
12. Even if you do what God says, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the result you expect. This year God has called me to love people who have rejected me. Reach out to those who have ignored me. Serve those who hated me. Bless those who have mistreated me. Apologize first when the other person was equally wrong. Honor those who have dishonored me. The end results weren’t me riding off into the sunset with these people. Sometimes they remained cruel and indifferent. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. Doing the right thing doesn’t always yield great results this side of heaven.
13. Only the people who love you care about your problems or issues, other’s I believe are curious.
14. Christians can behave in ways that are shocking. Extend grace. You want grace, give it. People are not perfect. Only God is perfect.
15. The less time spent watching tv, the happier I am. 🙂
16. Being different is okay. I’m not talking different and immoral. I’m talking having a different viewpoint or personality. God celebrates diversity.
17. Rebuke a mocker and he’ll hate you. There are people who find me on social media and blast negative things about God. Ignoring and blocking are sometimes warranted. Rebuking leads to quarreling. Just let it go…
18. Just because others say you “should” be doing something doesn’t mean you “should,” like get married, buy that car or house…wisdom considers the cost. Just because someone asks doesn’t mean you need to say yes. What’s God’s best for you? What’s your assignment?
19. Rest is crucial! Yep. Naps are my friend.
20. Trust God. So many great things and a few tragic things happened this year that required trusting God on new levels. Some days I felt like I might drown, but God remained faithful. He’s so faithful…
21. Stay connected to the right people. Know your tribe. Love everyone, yet stay connected to people who are mutually invested in you. They are life givers. Thank God for them, and invest in them too!
22. Set boundaries with takers. I’m a giver. I don’t say that to brag. I’m compelled by love to give. Don’t feel obligated to cater to takers. Be Spirit led. Say no to being abused or used. You teach people how to treat you by what you tolerate. What people need mostly is Jesus. If they’re hungry or naked, feed or clothe them. If they’re just dumping on you or taking what needs received from God or the Word-point them away from you and towards God! Don’t invest or sow aimlessly; be purposeful. Who does God want you to pour into? And how?
Well, that’s more sharing than I wanted. Yet I hope my lessons learned helped someone! May 2015 be a year overflowing with God’s goodness, wisdom, and provision. You are deeply loved (John 3:16).