A Birthday List

The blog, Wrestling with an Angel, had a post recently, in which was written a list of 'things I wish I'd known when I was your age' - from Dad to his son. 

'Our' Dad copied the list and gave it to our son on his birthday. I think many of us would say 'Amen' to the fact that many of them are 'things we wish we'd known (and lived)' when we were that age.

Here's the list:

1. The most important thing you can do is love God and love people. Everything in life flows from this one commandment.

Jesus said... Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 22:37-39

2. Choose your friends wisely: they will influence you more than you realise.  Be a unique leader, not an average follower. Don’t let your desire to impress people make you do stupid things. Be yourself and people will be drawn to you, and respect you.

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
1 Corinthians 15:33

3. Who you are when no one is looking is a true test of your character. Remember, Someone is always looking.

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
Proverbs 15:3

4. Take your time with girls. Set the standard high. Find a Godly woman. When you find her, she will be more valuable than all the treasure you could ever dream of. And she will have been worth the wait.

Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
Proverbs 31:10-31

5. Live your life in such a way that when people say bad things about you (and they will) no one will ever believe them. 

He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusted in the Lord, happy is he.
Proverbs 17: 20

6. Every decision that you make has a reward or a consequence. Your reputation is built over a period of many years, but can be destroyed in one minute with one bad decision.

The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom: and before honour is humility.
Proverbs 15: 33

7. Don’t just settle for a “job”. Find a career where your gifts can be used to the fullest, and to God’s glory. If your aim is God’s glory, your reward will be more than a salary.

Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.
Proverbs 11: 4

8. Always be slow to anger, quick to forgive, and quick to show grace.
Remember that Jesus’ death on the cross for your sins was a complete act of undeserved grace. Think about that when you are wronged or when you are treated badly by people.
Wherefore my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
James 1: 19-20
Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith: who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
 Hebrews 12:2

9. Be humble. The truest form of strength lies in humility.

Humility is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing done to us, to feel nothing against us. It is to be at rest when nobody praises us and when we are blamed and despised. It is to have a blessed place in the Lord where we can go in and shut the door and kneel to our Father in secret, and be at peace when all around is trouble.”
(Andrew Murray)

When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Proverbs 11:2


  1. This is GREAT! Thanks for sharing. What a blessing to have a father who cares enough about his son's spiritual welfare, to pass on such good advice. Praise God!

  2. Amen 9 times. A very good list to live by.

  3. This is one of the best, most inspiring posts I have ever read! Thank you so much for sharing. I plan to use it in many graduation & birthday cards from now on!


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