Summary: Life teaches you a lot of things. I got this material from Chuck Swindoll and passed it on to my church. Many thanks to Brother Chuck for this sermon. I hope it will be a blessing to you if you've never read it.
2 TIM. 3:14 “STUFF I’VE LEARNED”
A) Before I share these with you, I want to help you smile a little!
* Somebody sent me a cute article from some newspaper ... A class of fifth graders had submitted
the things they had learned in life ... Here is a sampling from their gems of wisdom:
* I’ve learned the difference between dog food and meatballs.
* I’ve learned that you don’t have serious relationships with boys until you’re 15.
B) I’ve learned that if you eat cheesecake and laugh hard enough, it will come out your nose!
* I’ve learned that even the smartest person is not always right.
* I’ve learned never to take a picture of a baby on a table because it will roll right off (and cry a
lot) ....... I’ve learned life is not fair.
* I’ve learned not to eat tons of chili and play bowling.
C) I’ve learned that hamsters can eat through a paper bag!
* I’ve learned that batteries are explosive when dropped off a bridge.
* I’ve learned if you don’t feed a bird at least every week it will die.
* I’ve learned to stop at corners on my bike because once I was six inches from a car.
B) I’ve been in ministry a long time ... Little over 30 years!
* (Can it really be that long?) In these three decades of serving in the trenches I have learned some
valuable truths ... Most of them the hard way.
* And honestly? I wouldn’t trade truth for youth or for anything else ... I really mean that.
* What’s more, I’m still on a learning curve ... I’m glad the lessons don’t stop at age 55, or 75, or
once you have your last child ... Or when you preach your thirtieth Easter sermon.
C) It occurred to me that there has been some pretty important stuff I’ve learned these many
* (As far as the things I haven’t learned, you’d have to ask my wife ... But let’s don’t go there.)
* I want to share with you, in no particular order, a sampling from my growing stack of lessons that
has been building over the decades. * I’ve learned that .......
(1) I SHOULD TELL PEOPLE HOW I FEEL ABOUT THEM NOW, NOT LATER!
A) Later seldom comes ... Furthermore, death has a way of making all communication one-sided!
* Many times as I have walked away from a funeral, I’ve wished I had told the deceased why I
loved and admired her or him ... Or what I appreciated ... Or how much I’d been helped.
(2) THINGS I’M NOT EVEN AWARE OF ARE BEING NOTICED AND REMEMBERED!
A) You wouldn’t believe the things folks have mentioned over the years that have encouraged
them ... A smile ... A glance ... An arm over the shoulder ... A song sung loudly ...
* A tear ... Laughter ... It’s really true: small things mean a lot ... Which can be a little scary.
(3) I’VE LEARNED THAT BEING REAL IS A LOT BETTER THAN LOOKING PIOUS!
A)You don’t need to worry about making a good impression!
* You don’t live under a pile of guilt because you’re not perfect.
* Authenticity keeps you from getting your underwear in a wad over petty stuff that legalists
expect ... Pursuing holiness is biblical and right ... Trying to look holy stinks.
(4) IT DOESN’T PAY TO TALK SOMEONE INTO OR OUT OF A BIG DECISION!
A) We need to let people be ... Pushing or pulling creates complications and consequences!
* Looking back, I can recall a few times I put added pressure on individuals to get them to say
“yes” or “no” and on just about every occasion, I regretted it.
* The old Gospel song is still true: God still “leads His dear children along.”
* I’ve learned to step aside and let Him.
(5) DAYS OF DISCIPLINE ARE FAR MORE IN NUMBER THAN DAYS OF MAGNIFICENCE!
A) Can I tell you tonight that staying faithful pays great dividends!
* There’s gonna be times in your Christian life that you will have to discipline yourself to be
faithful ... And answering “Fantastic!” every time somebody asks how you’re doing is phony.
* Most days call for little more discipline on our part to do right.
(6) SOME PEOPLE AREN’T GOING TO CHANGE, NO MATTER WHAT!
A) This used to drive me nuts ... No longer!
* It was a great moment in my life when I realized I couldn’t win ‘em all ... In fact, I can’t even fix
those who wish I could ... And so, I’ve learned to lighten up.
* It’s a full-time job taking care of the logs in my own eyes.