The Best Lessons I Learned in 2013

I can’t believe 2013 is over! One of my favorite things I do the last week of each year is my year-end review. I review and reflect on my entire year and then dream about what God wants to do in the upcoming year. In the process, I make a report with lessons learned, highlights, etc. I thought I would share some of the best lessons I learned last year with you. I hope they’ll encourage you and add value to your life!

God’s Will is not a job. God’s will is who you are where you are – For so long, I stressed myself out worrying about what God’s will for my life is. What I’m finding is God’s will for my life is me is simply being who God called me to be and doing what God tells me to do everyday!

There is no Such Thing as Balance – I am definitely a routine guy! When my routine gets thrown off, I get thrown off! I freak out when I don’t do everything I think I should do. What I am learning…slowly… is that there are seasons for everything. There are seasons when I need to focus on writing instead of reading. There are times when I need to focus on my wife instead of being as social as I think I need to be. There are seasons where I won’t be able to work out everyday. There are times when I have to focus on work and put in the extra hours instead of something else. I am learning to be flexible!

The People that Produce are the Ones Who Get Options – This has to do with work. The people who get results and produce, get more freedom than those who do not. Want more freedom? Produce!

God put Authority in Your Life, They are a Divine Appointment – Sometimes I don’t always appreciate the authority figures that are in my life. I am learning that God put them in my life for a reason. There are extremely valuable lessons in learning how to submit to authority. If you do not like an authority figure that is in your life right now, realize that God is probably trying to teach you something in this season!

The Law of Averages – I wrote a post about this here.

The Ministry of 1 on 1’s – I’ve always enjoyed having one on ones with people. However, I used to value speaking to large groups more than I valued one on ones. I am learning that often there is often more value in investing in someone one on one than there is speaking to a crowd of thousands. Both are important and both are extremely valuable.

God is the Only One that Can Take Away Gifts and Opportunities – This helped me so much! When I was no longer on a church staff, I was worried that I wouldn’t have any more opportunities to speak, lead, etc. I love to do those things and I feel called to do them. However, I have found that if God’s called you to do something, He’s the only one that can stop that from happening (unless you disqualify yourself somehow!). God’s continued to open up doors for me to do the things He’s called me to do. God’s your source, your promotion, and the one who opens doors for you. Not man. Trust God for opportunities to do what He’s called you to do.

You Don’t have to be #1 To Make a Difference – You don’t need a title or a position to make a difference. This helped me not get so stressed out about “climbing the corporate ladder.”

Stick With Your Wife! – One of the best books I read this year was Sifted. In the book, a man who was in ministry for a very long time was asked what the best lesson he learned in all of his years of ministry was. He responded, “Stick with your wife.” That has stuck with me. It helps me remember that the greatest ministry I have is my marriage!

God’s Responsible for how Big Your Influence will Get – Rick Warren said this after he said to be faithful with what God’s given you. As a young leader, it helps you relax. You have no control over how much influence you have, but you do have control on whether or not you’re faithful with what God’s given you!

Make Your Home a Ministry – Laura and I want our home to be a ministry. When people hang out with us or come over our house, we want them to be encouraged, feel loved, see God, to be challenged, to grow, etc. Remember: Ministry is who we are, where are! 🙂

Be Willing to Have Your Worst One Ever – A Seth Godin quote. It gives me the courage to try new things, like continue blogging, starting my podcast, writing a book, etc. If I’m not willing to produce things that may be horrible, I’ll never create something great in the future. Keep producing!

Everyone Needs Recovery – I’ve learned a lot about recovery this year. I’ve learned that everyone needs recovery. John Townsend spoke a message on this that I would highly encourage you to listen to. Listen here!

Master the Art of “Being Me” without the fear of Being Rejected by You – I work on this daily! I encourage you to as well! Be you!!!

No Amount of Success will Make Up for Failure at Home – Similar to the “stick with your wife” lesson. Family first!

While You’re Waiting for the Time of Your Life, The Time of Your Life is Happening – Bam! Enjoy the journey! You’re living your best days right now. Stop taking them for granted.

Reality is Always Your Friend – The more I grow, the more obsessed I become with finding out what reality is. If we’re going to grow to our full potential, then we need to get comfortable with reality, regardless of how hard it may be to hear it!

Stop Thinking of Yourself s a Young Leader! You’re a Leader. Lead! – This was a recurring theme in my interviews with leaders. Just lead! Stop worrying about how old you are! LEAD!

Do Your Work so Completely that all Your Boss has to do is Sign Off on it – Excellence was a big theme for me this year. Set your own personal standards so high that no one ever has to set them for you! 🙂

Let God Narrow Your Call, When You try to Narrow it, You Get into Trouble – I’m learning that I can’t force my way into the will of God for my life. God’s in control of that. I need to let my call evolve. Be faithful where you’re at and God will get you where He wants you to go!

What were some of the best lessons you learned in 2013? Comment below! I’ve love to hear them!

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