Tuesday, May 20, 2014

4 Truths I've Learned In The First 40 Years Of My Life

It's particularly odd getting older because no matter what I see in the mirror each day, I still feel young.  I'm really thankful to be 40 years old and excited about the future.  I'm not scared of dying or scared that I will go through a mid-life crisis.  A mid-life crisis can happens when you wake up one day and realize that you created a life that you hate.  The good news is that you can create a life that you love no matter what your age. You have the power to choose. Age also gives you the gift of perspective.  The realization that your life can make a great impact.  Anyway, since I am a voracious seeker of wisdom, I've learned some things over the years that have helped me become better.  By better, I mean the best version of me that I can be.  I hope that these thoughts will help you, whether you're going up the hill or are already over the hill.

1.  Life Is Short And Life Is Long.  I've married, buried and walked people through a myriad of issues over the years.  Change is constant.  The reality is that you will live about 25,550 days on the planet.  The lie of youth is that you will always have tomorrow.  The truth is that you have the potential for great a future, the other truth is that your future is coming at you fast.  To live effectively, you need wisdom.  Hindsight for perspective, insight for the present and foresight for your future.  Everything that I have ever needed I've found in the Word Of God, the Bible.

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."  Psalm 90:12 (NIV)

2.  Your Greatest Power Is Your Power To Choose.  God created you with the power to choose and create the life that you are living today.  The difference between victims and victors is their choice.  Your decisions really do determine your destiny.  A series of wise choices can build your life and you can begin at any time.  God has already given you the permission to succeed and be blessed in this life.  He has great plans for your future, the choice is really up to you.

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life…”.  Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

3.  What You Give Is Yours Forever.  People are remembered for what they give, they are reviled for what they keep.  When people speak at funerals they simply talk about what their loved one gave them.  Things like time, money and encouragement. People that live with hands out, always wanting to receive, are rarely happy.  People who live life with hands down, ready to give and serve, are always blessed.  The truth is that it's not about the duration of your life, it's about the donation of your life. The only lasting investment is when you give to God's Kingdom for God's purposes.  When you're truly generous, your world will increase, as well as your eternal reward. What you give is yours forever. I cannot think of one act of generosity that I regret.

"The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped."  Proverbs 11:24-26 (MSG)

4.  You Will Never Have A Positive Life With A Negative Mind. Negative thoughts disrupt God’s plan, steal your joy, peace and contentment in life. If your mind is filled with worry, insecurity, guilt, sadness, fearful imaginations and inaccurate assumptions, then your life cannot be filled with joy. Letting go of unrealistic expectations, bitterness and controlling behavior makes you a more positive person. It also empowers you to enjoy the life that God has given you. Negative and critical people are ultimately avoided and forgotten.  When you choose to follow Jesus, you become full of genuine hope and faith because it is rooted in the promises of the living God!  God's Word tells us to, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 (NLT)  The more you think about something, the stronger it takes hold of you. Your life really does follows your thoughts.   

"Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT)