7 LESSONS FROM AN OLD MAN

me. Slow to learn, but getting it–sort of. I want to learn to…

BE THANKFUL.

Gratitude overcomes an attitude. I’ve watched it happen with young adults who badmouthed parents. When they did the assignment of writing a letter of appreciation to Dad and Mom, it changed their outlook. Also changed some parents. Gratitude opens the door to richer communication. Complaining shut the door. The more often I thank God for the special gift of Karen, the more I am able to enjoy who she is.

BE PRAYERFUL.

My friend Kevin said that he prays for the North Korean leader. It never occurred to me. I blogged about how crazy he was, not about how broken.  What if all his citizens prayed for him? The Bible tells us to pray for those who abuse us. Use prayer for people close to you. Let your spouse, your children, your friends know you are praying for them. Use it for people far from you–like presidents and kings.

BE GENEROUS.

Don’t wait until you make a lot of money. It is not how much you give but how much you have left. The widow who got the attention of Jesus gave a small offering, but it was all she had. Impressive to the Son of God. Generosity is fun. Loren Cunningham said, “We shovel it out the front door, and God shovels it in the back door. And His shovel is bigger than our shovel.”

BE ON TIME.

It says to people that you value them more than your own time. Servants come early. Sometimes important people come late. Be a servant. Don’t make people wait for you, but be more than willing to wait for them without grumbling. If you complain, you are showing that you are important rather than a servant. God, forgive me!

BE GENTLE.

My father and mother were. They never used the leverage of loud to make their point. Yelling uses an illegitimate force–volume. I like the word “gentleman.” We’re told who we are right in the title. Paul tells us to be gentle even with those who oppose us, a great test of our gentleness.

BE HARD TO OFFEND.

It had never occurred to me as a young man. Sorry about that, Karen. I took up offenses when I thought I deserved to. Living above offense is a lot more healthy. To be unoffendable means having a good forgiver. I have learned to forgive before the offending one comes to me and asks–well sometimes. It is remarkable that Joseph forgave his brothers after what they did. Way to go, Joseph!

BE LOW.

It’s not how high you can get but how low you can go. No one has ever gone lower that Jesus. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve…” I told my kids when they were invited over to a friend’s house, “Do the dishes. Don’t expect to be waited upon. Wait upon others.”

ASSIGNMENT:  Rate yourself on each quality with a 10 to 0, ten being like Jesus and zero being like the devil. Then rate yourself in three months and see if you are growing.

4 thoughts on “7 LESSONS FROM AN OLD MAN

  1. Paul – love The lessons learned – not sure where you get the “OLD” part from my 86th year – yout just a young pup – I have as my goal – NEVER – fear, worry, be offended, judge, And ALWAYS – be joyful, thankful, generous, content, peaceful, – HAVE DISCOVERED LIFE WORKS BETTER THIS WAY – love you brother

  2. This is very timely for us as we are connecting with some nieces who are not happy with their parents ….. and your first paragraph says write a letter of appreciation. Wow!
    Thank you for doing these blogs. Even though we don’t read through every one of them, we are prompted to read many — and Holy Spirit uses you to touch many.
    God bless you and keep you! Shine, Jesus, shine!

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