Things I’ve Learned From Fifty-five Years of Being a Christian

Below are some principles that have helped me enormously. I can’t say that I have mastered them, but I do think they lead to a good life.

Be generous. You can never out-give God. What you give to God (or to others in His name) you will always have plenty of.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Generosity extends to all that we have, including: money, time, and talent.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

-Winston Churchill

Integrity matters. Be honest; don’t covet what God has not given to you.

Put people first. The only things around you that will last forever are people.

Never give up on people. Give others an opportunity to correct mistakes and grow. Didn’t someone do that for you?

Build relationships; they will encourage you in good times, and sustain you in difficult times.

Don’t try to run away from problems. They always seem to know where you’re going, and they seem to get there ahead of you!

Keep your promises. There’s nothing more disappointing to others than broken promises.

Don’t let failure get you down. God’s strength is perfected in our weakness.

Thomas Edison was once told by a teacher that he was “too stupid to learn anything.”

Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

Abraham Lincoln’s long path to success:

1832 Lost job
1832 Defeated for legislature
1833 Failed business
1836 Had a nervous breakdown
1838 Defeated for speaker of Legislature
1843 Defeated for nomination to Congress
1849 Rejected for Land Officer
1854 Defeated for Senate
1856 Defeated for nomination for Vice-President
1858 Defeated for Senate again
1860 Elected President of the United States

Be merciful and gracious, especially when you have every right to be angry instead; these are “God-like” qualities.

Look for the inner person in others. Focus on their character, priorities, values, goals, and also their inner worth as having been made in the image of God.

Don’t worry about anything that God isn’t worried about.

From one of my professors, Dr. Howard Hendrix… Life is full of opportunities disguised as “impossible problems.”

You’ve probably heard that “you can’t change the past.” Well, it’s not true; you can change the past. How? Remember that today is tomorrow’s past. By making the right choices today, you still have the opportunity to change tomorrow’s past.

It’s impossible to coast uphill. If you’re coasting, the likelihood is that you’re going downhill. Do you really want your future to be downhill from where you are?

(I make no claim of originality for any of these principles; If you find them helpful please feel free to share them.)