When I ask young people what lessons they have learned the hard way, they speak of fake friends, wasted money and lost opportunities (usually all in the same sentence). It is naturally hard for them to understand that life is God’s classroom, and that much pain can be avoided if godly instruction is heeded first. Some things are best NOT learned the hard way. But they are best learned the hard way than not at all.
So, here are my “Seventeen Lessons—You may [or may not] have to learn the Hard Way”:
(1) God is real. We see Him clearly through His creation, His Word, and His Son.
(2) Jesus has been ignored, dismissed, and criticised, but he is Saviour still.
(3) Believe it or not, the Holy Spirit has never stopped moving the church forward.
(4) Being a Christian is worth it.
(5) Life is to be enjoyed today.
(6) Grab every opportunity to do good. Years disappear before your very eyes.
(7) A healthy body is the best worker you will ever have.
(8) Despite your best efforts to prove otherwise, you will find it is God who sustains you.
(9) Although I do not wish them upon you, difficult people do help you to grow.
(10) God is not picking on you. Everyday circumstances are the lot of us all.
(11) The Bible is full of life changing stuff. It is not learned by osmosis. You will have to read it.
(12) Churches attract dysfunctional people. It is supposed to. We call each one ‘a poor sinner like me!’
(13) Negativity is a killjoy! Nothing lifts the spirits like a joyful friend.
(14) Good money management is a gift that blesses all. Debt can’t be ignored away.
(15) There is a very fine line between tolerance and enabling.
(16) People come and go, but friendship knows no bounds.
(17) There are people who love people because they just do. They are the finest of God’s creation. God lives and works in them—Be one!