Remarkable discovery: 25 lessons in 25 years
Have you ever had a story to tell that you knew could be beneficial to others? Well, I have. Just like a movie, it kept playing in my mind but I always dismissed the thoughts. I know 25 years could seem inexperienced by many especially older people but a lot of people learn nothing about life for years. I have learnt 25 lessons within 25 years of my life.
Compare that to 25 years as a professional in any field of study, say medicine or writing and it’s a credibility booster!
It could be frustrating making the same mistakes over and over until we learn to critically assess our relationship with God, ourselves and others seeing with the eyes of faith. This exercise, helps us reorient our thought patterns and our steps towards achieving our God-given purpose.
After resisting for a while, Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I suddenly woke up around 2 am and decided to finally pen this down. In no particular order;
There you go; 25 lessons can transform your life
1. Complaining about systems will not necessarily make them work. Be the change you want to see.
Prayer is vital in our Christian walk but also essential to put our faith into practice after prayer. Realise your purpose and use your gifts to make a change. That thing you always complain about, find the solution or find someone who can. That’s why you are the light of the world. Don’t join folks to grumble, murmur and complain.
2. Be more concerned about pleasing God than your reputation.
It’s always more convenient to join the flow just to make people see you as cool or belonging to a certain class of society but remember whom you belong to. Know that if you live for the approval of others, you’re going to have to keep up appearances and eventually that would wear you out. Huh! You surely need a pinch of “foolishness” to please God. That can’t be done outside of faith. Yes, it’s costly to follow Christ. You sacrifice all the earthly pleasures but its death not to. We please God as a measure of our love for Him not because we are being forced to.
Hebrews 11, Matthew 6:33.
3. Remind yourself of your good qualities everyday while working on your weaknesses. Learn from your mistakes.
God only creates masterpieces, not counterfeits. You were created in the image of God Himself! You have a seed of greatness in you that must be unearthed but that can’t be realised if you keep an attitude of negativity. Practise this. Take a sheet of paper and write all the things you do like about yourself or the positive compliments you have ever received on a sticky note and paste them somewhere you can refer to at any time. Anytime negative thoughts try to creep in on you, flush them out by constantly meditating on them and act like it. Occasionally, we may fall short. It’s okay. Admit that you need help and get back to the drawing board.
Genesis 1:26, 2 Timothy 1:7
4. Talk less and do more.
Ever heard the saying, “Actions speak louder than words?” Yh, they do. Jesus would not have had to sacrifice his life if we didn’t mean anything to Him. You know a man by their actions. Also, quit talking all the time about what you want to do and do it, in love and wisdom. Blabbermouths don’t get the blessings, those who walk by faith do. Know when to zip it otherwise you may have to eat your words later but that could be too late.
Proverbs 18:21, proverbs 16:28
5. Choose to be happy every single day by looking for reasons to stay happy. You owe it to yourself.
We all have things we hope to achieve in the future and maybe working towards them each day, or so. However, on our journey there, we need to also stay joyful and grateful for the small wins. The atmosphere is everything. God inhabits in the praises of his people. There are many things to be happy about. Make that conscious decision irrespective of your circumstances.
Psalm 22:3, Proverbs 17:22
6. If you do not know what to say or how to react in a situation, do nothing.
A wise woman once said, “You don’t need necessarily need to air your opinion on every matter”. Learn to walk away from situations that may force you to do something you would regret later. It’s better to wait on God and be too slow than to jump on the train without knowing your destination. Walking away is a sign of strength and maturity. Count the cost.
Luke 14: 28
7. Be rooted in your space, then finding a mentor will be easier.
Choosing a mentor or spiritual leader is essential and should be achieved by seeking the face of God. In the same vein, you should also prayerfully consider your leader in every other space, holding Christ central. You don’t just follow anyone. Use Christ as your filter otherwise, you may get distracted. Again, know your stuff. Your greatness is not wholly dependent on another person. You have a part to play.
8. It’s great to have a vision but it’s wiser to have direction also.
A vision without direction is like a mere wish. Preparation is the key to attaining your vision and that gives you direction. You may not know God’s total plan for your life but you need to be dependent on the Holy Spirit every step of the way.
Psalm 32:8, Isaiah 30:21
9. Some negative habits fall as we mature, others will not go without a fight. Work towards them daily.
Science tells us that 21 days of dedication to practice form a habit. How about, 21 days of dedication to God and His Word? Sharpening your spirit-man dulls the flesh. Again, it’s important to be accountable to a higher authority too. In Daniel 6: 10-28, the bible records that Daniel prayed three times a day, as was his custom. No wonder, some churches always practice 21 days of fasting and prayers especially at the beginning of every year.
10. Having time for yourself and loving yourself helps you love others better.
Some people perceive loving yourself as being selfish. It’s Godly to love yourself as it helps you better relate with others. It becomes a problem when you lose focus of the creator and focus on the creation, you! Never fail to acknowledge God. The first command is to love God. Then your neighbour. It can then be concluded that your measure of love you have for yourself can be seen in how you treat others. You can’t love God and hate yourself and others. it’s deception.
11. Accountability to authority is key. However, only you are accountable for the choices you make.
A wise woman once said, “Every choice you make has consequences, even when you decide not to make any choice at all is a choice on its own. The purpose of our walk-in Christ is to be like Christ and not like any man. However, we cannot get there alone. We need to stick together as a body and every group needs a leader for proper coordination. Respect authority but pursue God primarily and trust Him to get you to an expected end. His choices are always the best!
Ephesians 6:1-2, Romans 13:1-5
12. Mind who you talk to. They say, “A problem shared is half solved”. I say, ” A problem shared with the right people is half solved “.
Life has struggles, not all days are rosy, some seem gloomy too. However, God works through people to be there for us like Jonathan and David, Samuel and Eli, Mordecai and Esther or even strangers. These people may not just be experienced but they help you see through things the way God sees them. Wrong people may lead you astray with their advice but the right people build you up, constructively criticize you and will not judge you. Trust God not just to find your Jonathan or Mordecai but to make you a person who can also build others in Christ.
13. Talking about someone behind their back makes you as guilty as opening yourself up to hearing mean things about others.
Backbiting is a complete waste of time, productive time and caries along with it, shame.
Psalm 101:5, Psalm 15:1-3
14. Don’t judge people based on what others tell you about them until you know the whole story.
If you haven’t been where they’ve been, you wouldn’t understand as much.
I mean, even if you never get to know their story, know them for yourselves. Mordecai would have been hang in the gallows in place of Haman, King Solomon could have judges wrong and grieve the woman whose baby was alive and Joseph would not have become the Prime Minister of Egypt. Even if they were indeed wrong, that is not yours to decide.
15. Learn to mind your own business. There’s too much going on with you. Why overly concern yourself with that of others?
We must know the difference between being concerned and prying into a person’s personal affairs. It’s wisdom.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-18 (Msg.)
16. How you see yourself is how others will see you. It starts with your mind.
We must renew our minds daily with the Word of God. It’s not a destination, but a journey. You usually attract people of like mind. When you realise who you are and your purpose, you see life on a whole new level. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes or taking a wrong turn as long as you acknowledge that you need the help of the Holy Spirit and Godly people.
17. You are a reflection of who you choose as your friend.
People influence. Our attitudes rub off on each other, the more we become close, it’s only a matter of time. Choose your friends wisely. They can make or unmake you. Choose a person who adds value to your life and reciprocate it.
Psalm 1:1, Proverbs 27:17
18. Don’t postpone for tomorrow what you have to do now!
Procrastination robs you of not only your time but your life. This does not also mean being impatient but carefully considering the matter at hand and moving forward. Putting things off when you can do them now is a character of self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit.
Ecclesiastes 11:4, Proverbs 18:9, Galatians 5:23
19. Strive to be a better version of yourself each day and stop comparing yourself to others. Someone out there secretly wishes they were you.
Whether you are tall, like me, short, fair, dark, white, black, be content with who God made you. He made you unique, even as a twin or triplet. You’re a complete package on your own. God made you with all it take for you to stand out and reflect His glory. You are enough! Yh, right. Your family background, divorce, weaknesses… They are a constant reminder that you need God every step of the way. Don’t lose focus on yourself. Appreciate others but shine your light as well.
Genesis 1:27, Psalm 134:14
20. Planting a smile on others faces indirectly puts a smile on yours too.
Sometimes encouraging others brings you much fulfilment, though you may be going through a rough patch yourself. It gives you peace to know that you could be of help, not to broadcast it to the whole world. The bible even encourages us to love our enemies. I know, sometimes I think if I was God, I would be tempted to make a few changes… I mean, a lot of changes but God is faithful!
Luke 6:27, Luke 6:38
21. Speak the truth always in love and wisdom.
Have you ever told a lie, just to cover up another lie? Chicken and egg approach huh? It’s a trap that becomes more difficult to escape with time. Speak the truth with wisdom, not aggressively or in heated arguments. You don’t fool God, so don’t fool yourself and others.
Proverbs 12:22, John 14:6
22. Avoiding negative people doesn’t make you mean.
Negative people have problems with every solution. Avoiding them gives you the energy to be there for other people who are ready to move on. Many of us have been hurt, are bitter and need healing. Sometimes it’s tough and it takes a while for a person to be well again. We’re talking about emotional or psychological pain, trauma perhaps from the passing of a loved one, a broken relationship or a betrayal. It takes the Holy Spirit and time. Decide to give such people some space and pray for them.
23. To deal with a negative mindset, it should be replaced with a positive one. It helps.
Our minds can only be filled with either of these two things; good and evil. It can’t be void. Man’s nature be default is to think evil but it takes self-discipline and an accountability partner to keep a positive mindset.
24. There is good in every situation if you will look for it.
It takes wisdom and understanding to see the bright side of things. Things don’t just happen to us, they work for us.
25. What you don’t know can potentially destroy you.
Broaden your scope, skills and sharpen your talent. Read. Ignorance is no excuse. Sometimes, the answers to our prayers may be right before our eyes but we miss it. As ambassadors on earth, we need to study the terrain to be able to make much impact. Ask apostle Paul. However, knowing the Word of God is supreme.
Let’s interact and continue receiving wisdom and directions from God in this journey as we renew our minds with His Word. Yh, I know, 25 lessons is a lot but you may need it along the journey of life.