A few days ago I turned 36. While 36 isn’t in itself a magic number, it’s an opportunity to pass on 36 things I’ve learned over the years. These aren’t the only things or most important things, just the first 36 things that came to mind. Enjoy!
1. There are no short cuts.
2. God really is faithful.
3. Even with the explosion of technology, success still comes down to how well you interact with people.
4. Be faithful with the small things. Earn your stripes.
5. Money fights account for 85% of arguments in a marriage.
6. After moving around all over, every place starts to look the same. It all comes down to the people you’re with.
7. If you work hard, you’ll be ahead of 90% of others in your field.
8. Entitlement will get you nowhere.
9. Life gets real messy when you move outside the four walls of the church.
10. Learn names. Learn names. Learn names.
11. A successful pastor is part politician.
12. Church doesn’t have to be boring. It can be fun and truthful at the same time.
13. Want to get over yourself? Have a kid. Better yet? Have four.
14. Marriage is the hardest and absolute best covenant you’ll enter into.
15. The church can be your family.
16. There’s so much more in life to live for than just money.
17. Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
18. People are desperately searching for hope.
19. You can loved an adopted child just as much as your own.
20. Every tragedy is an opportunity for God to do the miraculous.
21. Your kids grow up too fast.
22. Life is sweetest when done in community.
23. People want to be inspired and led to pursue a greater vision.
24. The local church is the hope of the world.
25. The problem with the church is that we’ve made church for church people.
26. There is value in an education, not just for the knowledge gained but for the discipline applied in completing a difficult task.
27. I started my doctorate wanting to be considered by a bigger church. I finished my doctorate never wanting to work at a church where I was considered only because of my degree.
28. I’ve learned more through personal reading and attending conferences than I ever have in seminary.
29. The growing leader can never stop learning. Never.
30. Holiness and excellence lead to success in the church. It’s not an either-or.
31. Money can’t buy happiness. It really can’t.
32. If you act like you know what you’re doing, most of the time people will believe you (that may or may not be a good thing)
33. A sermon is worthless unless it has application along with the truth.
34. Want people to remember something you say? Tell them a story.
35. Like the apostle Paul, I’ve learned the secret of being content in each and every circumstance, whether well fed or hungry, living in plenty or in want.
36. I never could have predicted the course my life would take, but I thank God everyday for it.
QUESTION: What’s something you’ve learned along the way in life?