30 Things I Wish I Had Learned Before I Turned 30:
(In the order they come to mind, not of importance)
* Children are usually listening when you hope they are not and rarely are when they are supposed to. Guard the door of your mouth wisely. Think twice about whether what you are about to say is of any value in the Kingdom of God.
* People seldom spend their time on what they say they value the most. Your time and wallet reflect the truth about what is deep in your heart. If something is important enough to you, you will find the time to make it happen.
* Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself, not just others. There is nothing you can do that is beyond Jesus' forgiveness. How then can you harbor unforgiveness in your heart toward others? Let it go and move on.
* Turn everything off. Often. Silence is rare today. Everyone seems to be afraid of what might happen if they are alone with themselves and God. Unless you are still for more than the time it takes to switch gadgets, how can you expect to hear from Heaven?
* Memorizing scripture is not a task to check off the "I should be doing that" list. It is a weapon to use against the enemy when warfare seems the strongest. It is an overwhelming sense of peace when long forgotten truths are recalled. At the end of life, no one ever regretted spending time hiding these truths in their heart or teaching them to their children.
* Discover what delights your heart and make time to do it often. Unless you fill up with joy and love, you will not flow out joy and love.
* The people you love most in life will at some point let you down. Being human means making bad choices and saying things you should not have said. Everyone does this. Even David, the man after God's own heart, was an adulterer and murderer. Go easy on others and offer grace when true repentance is expressed.
* Do not expect people who do not have a relationship with Jesus to act like they do. People either act out of the love or lack of love that is in their hearts. Shine God's love everywhere you go, but do not be surprised when it is not reflected back to you from nonbelievers.
* Do not judge others. Period. There may be a reason you are not aware of that they are doing what they are doing. God is the ultimate judge. You were never asked to be part of the jury.
* Learn how to see yourself as God sees you. The ability to love others begins with the ability to love yourself. Ask him to show you the truth of who you are to him. Then, keep your eyes and ears open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, you are more valuable than you think.
* Figure out how to handle conflict in a healthy way. If you are ever around others, conflict will happen. Avoiding it now makes the situation twice as hard later. If ignored, unresolved bitterness and anger will explode in a destructive way.
* Just because someone is on a stage or has a lot of fancy letters after their name, it does not mean they always speak truth. Test everything against the plumb line of the Word of God and the prompting of the Spirit inside you.
* Think about tomorrow, plan for the future, but be fully here now. Today is not a dress rehearsal. You get one chance to do what you are doing right now. Slow down, glance around, and look into the eyes of other people. You are guaranteed the moment you are in, nothing more.
* Strive for a healthy body because you want to honor God with the temple he gave you, not because you want to impress others or earn love and praise. You are loved completely just as you are now. Take care of the vessel he has temporarily given you to the best of your ability.
* Learn what makes those closest to you in life feel loved, then do those things often. People tend to express love as they enjoy receiving it, but God created every one so differently. Ask, and then act. Repeat this cycle often.
To be continued...