I’ve been 25 for a whole week now and even though my insurance has gone down a few cents, it’s been a challenge (emotionally) to land in this milestone of being a quarter century old.
days weeks leading up to the birthday, I began to look around me at what other people had done with their life by age 25 (particularly my sister, who was married and had two babies at that point) and started comparing myself with them [note to self: That’s never a good idea]. As I shared this struggle with a few people, the Lord used a dear, sweet friend to speak truth into my heart and, wow, has God used it.
Maybe you need to hear it too.
“I know exactly how it feels to compare yourself to everyone around you and say, “Why not me?” It is kinda silly but at the same time it’s a very easy thing to do…provided your eyes are on what everyone around you is doing. The command to look onto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:1-2) is God’s gracious way of keeping our eyes well above our circumstances and on the One who has ordained the circumstances in which we find ourselves.” -Kofi Adu-Boahen
There it is. The ever-present command to look and live.
In an attempt to stop comparing myself with others and shift my gaze to our holy and victorious Lord, the day after my birthday I compiled a list of some of the lessons I’ve learned in these 25 years and thought I would share them with you. What are some things you’ve learned in your time on this earth? I would love to hear them. Let’s learn from each other.
25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years
(other than the first one, these are in no particular order)
1. Above all, Christ is gloriously and radiantly beautiful and more satisfying than anything this cheap world offers.
2. Sports are awesome to play but athletics don’t last forever and neither does fame.
3. Better is wisdom than gold, even fine gold. Even Olympic gold.
4. You can waste time trying to be perfect. Instead, strive for excellence.
5. Your parents are on your team. They aren’t against you, they’re for you.
6. Feelings do not equal truth.
7. Even in my best, most put together moments, I am in desperate need of a Savior.
8. If in doubt, don’t. [My dad’s mantra… one of them.]
9. Love is a choice. Love is a verb. Love is only possible because Christ first set His love on us.
10. I need the Gospel every day [all day er’ day].
11. “Be hard on sin, easy on forgiveness.” -Michael Durham
12. Every moment you are faced with the choice to either speak life or death. Both are in the power of the tongue. Choose life. (Prov. 18:21)
13. Not everyone you meet will be your best friend or even your friend at all, and that’s OK.
14. Choose your friends wisely. You will become like them. (2 Cor. 15:23, Prov. 13:20)
15. Read. And then read some more. Fill your brain and heart with words that matter.
“Give yourself unto reading. The man who never reads will never
be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted.
He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains,
proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read.”
16. College is wonderful, exciting, blissful and thrilling. But it is about more than the adventures. Be sensitive to what God is trying to teach you more than the professors.
17. Compromise is seductive but you’ll always regret it. Stand firm.
18. Be more consumed with being a friend than becoming one. Seek to understand not to be understood.
19. True beauty comes only from a life fully devoted to following Christ.
20. The sorrows of those who run after another god multiply. (Psalm 16:4a)
21. Intentionally seek wisdom and understanding and to develop your character.
22. Don’t look to a man (or woman) to do for you what only Christ can.
23. Don’t compare the story God is writing in your life to what He is writing in someone else’s. You may try to write your own story and make your own plans but remain open to God’s sovereign leadership—His plans will stand. (Prov. 19:21)
24. Make it your goal to out-serve everyone around you to the glory of God, because He first served you.
25. My life is not about me. (1 Cor. 6:19b-20)
26. You can’t make everyone happy. Instead of trying to please everyone, concern yourself with honoring the only One who truly matters.
27. Embrace the current season of your life and the opportunities it brings. This season, this year of your life, will never come again so, “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” -Jim Elliot