In Part 1 of this two-part series we began to explore ten important life lessons Curt Landry had to learn, and how they apply to each of our lives. In this final part we will continue to unpack these important life lessons, discovering how they help in aligning our perspective with God’s.
Ten Life Lessons to Prosper:
- Love is more than a feeling. It is a choice.
- There is no shame in not knowing.
- Healthy perspective with long-term ‘grand view’ in focus.
- Don’t take anything for granted.
- It’s not all about you.
- You don’t always get what you want.
- You can’t please everyone.
- Pace yourself.
- Your health is your most valuable asset.
- Money is a tool; it can’t buy happiness or personal peace.
6. You do not always get what you want.
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”—Hebrews 13:5
Thank goodness we do not always get what we want. This may sound strange at first, but there are many reasons why it is true…
Sometimes what we want runs against our call or we simply do not yet have the character to receive it. Greater still, sometimes we do not get what we want because it is dangerous…
Picture a child, six years old, who wants their own zoo. They, being six, almost certainly lack the resources to care for the animals or even the wisdom to separate the gazelles from the lions. They doubtless do not even own land on which to build their zoo, or the money to maintain it. Yet, even if God were to give them the land, zoo, and finances, how would the six year old know who to hire? How would they be able to keep their curiosity in check and stay away from those animals that could eat, trample, or poison them? Especially when the most deadly are so often in bright, attractive packaging.
There are a million and one reasons why that child should not be given their own zoo and the responsibility that goes with it.
And just like with that child, God sometimes does not give us what we want—or delays it until we are prepared—to keep us safe. Because, just as a zoo might sound wonderful and safe to a six year old, we may desire things that—in our ‘youthful’ ignorance—are brightly packaged but deadly.
7. You can’t please everyone.
“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”—Galatians 1:10
“The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; he who keeps his way preserves his soul.”—Proverbs 16:17
It is easy for us to become ‘people pleasers.’ Most of us, since our youth, have had at least one person we wanted to please—to make proud—be it a relative, teacher, friend, or boss. It feels good to have someone we respect and admire pleased with us, but it can become a vice.
When we do things with the thought, ‘what will they think if I do this? Or don’t?’ worried that we will in some way disappoint another person or fail to be viewed in the light we desire, we can become enamored with a false sense of self. We can become more concerned about what others might think than what we, or even God, will. Saying yes to things we know we are not called to, or no to things that are ours.
One of the most important life lessons and freeing revelations is the knowledge that the only one we are meant to please is God.
8. Pace yourself.
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it.”—Luke 14:28
In this day and age when economies, reputations, etc., can be made or destroyed in seconds… where we can travel from one country to another in hours—minutes in some cases. It is easy to overdo.
Each of us wear a million hats, from family to business, and sometimes… our expectations are too great. Not because we are meant to aim low, or not work toward goals with diligence, but because sometimes we get overexcited. We believe that everything has to be done by such and such time and never think to consult God on if it is achievable—or if it is His goal for us.
We exist to do more, accomplish more, and yet, if we simply take a moment to breathe and focus on God, we can achieve more with less. Because with God, we are not spinning our wheels uselessly.
It is okay to pace ourselves. In fact, often it is advisable. We have to weigh the cost, know our limits, and consult God. It is better to wait a few days—or even few minutes if nothing else—than to make a decision in haste…
“… ‘Sit still… until you know how the matter will turn out…’”—Ruth 3:18
9. Your health is your most valuable asset.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”—1 Corinthians 6:19-20
One of the most important life lessons is understanding that without health, it is almost impossible to do all God has called us to do. Yes, many have led others to God while they themselves lay sick in the hospital. Many have done great things despite physical pain and illness. Yet, we—our bodies—act as God’s temples. We are meant to be an example of God’s love and goodness. Sometimes sickness comes, but there are things we are meant to do both in our call, and to maintain our temples…
Eating healthy when possible. Making good choices—such as exercising, making time to sleep, etc.—are things we can do to maintain our physical temples. When we are healthy, we can think clearly, make decisions, keep focus, and more.
Further, if God has called us to be His light in say, a bank, and we are always sick, unable to stand or sit for any length of time and having to take sick leave… then we cannot answer our call. We cannot be that light in the darkness, because those in the darkness fail to see God’s light in you—because of your absence or sickness.
Money can be made again. Health, once depleted, can often only be restored by God.
10. Money is a tool; it can’t buy happiness or personal peace.
“A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry; but money answers everything.”—Ecclesiastes 10:19
“A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.”—Proverbs 18:16
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”—1 Timothy 6:10
“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.”—Luke 16:9
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”—Matthew 6:33
The last of these important life lessons is the issue of money. Often in the Church we ignore the topic as much as possible, yet, even the Word tells us of the usefulness of money. That said, it is easy for us to become obsessed. Money, having it or not, is not the issue—money in itself is not evil—but valuing it over your family, God’s people, or God Himself is.
When we view money as a ‘holy grail’ where we will be happy when we get ‘such and such’ amount of it. Or believe that our lives will only be good when we have it. We are not properly assigning money’s place in our lives.
Money is a tool. Yes, usually time has to be spent to gain it, but it is replaceable. People are not.
Money allows us to further the Kingdom, answer our call—it is a tool—just as time, wisdom, knowledge, etc., are all tools. Further, God often trusts us with a little before He gives us much—to ascertain how we react. If we get a little money, fail to give God His portion, and hoard it instead of utilizing it to answer our call, then why would God give us much?
No matter if we have much or little, it is important to live knowing that it is not a problem solver. Money may be the hammer that sends the nail inward, but it is the arm of God that gives it power.