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I love sitting and listening to older, wiser folks than myself. I love history and learning it from people who loved it. There is something about sitting on a porch swing with someone old in days who has seen so much change and endured so much through their walk in life. The proverbial writer acts as a father to us and treats you and I as “sons and daughters” who are learning. As disciples of Jesus, that’s exactly what we are doing and we constantly sit in the learner seat. Thank God for wise fathers who taught us what to do right. Even so, for those of us who had no good fatherly example in life, we learned what “not” to do. I wanted to share some of the wise words and sayings I’ve heard in the first 35 years of life.

1. When you hear a kind word spoken about a friend, pass it along (Proverbs 3:27; Galatians 6:10). If it’s a negative word, keep it to yourself.

2. As a man, spoil your spouse, not your children (2 Samuel 12:3, 8; Proverbs 5:18–19; Ephesians 5:25; 1 Peter 3:7).

3. It is not our job to get people to like us. It is our job to like people (John 13:35; Hebrews 13:1; 1 Peter 1:22; 2:17).

4. To help your children turn out well, spend twice as much time with them and half as much money on them (Genesis 44:30; Proverbs 22:6; Ephesians 5:16; 6:4; Colossians 4:5).

5. Focus on others, not on self (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:3–5). Someone wrote, “How to Be Miserable.” It reads, “Think about yourself. Talk about yourself. Use „I‟ as often as possible. Mirror yourself continually in the opinion of others. Listen greedily to what people say about you. Expect to be appreciated. Be suspicious. Be jealous and envious. Be sensitive to slights. Never forgive a criticism. Trust nobody but yourself. Insist on consideration and respect. Demand agreement with your own views on everything. Sulk if people are not grateful to you for favors shown them. Never forget a service you have rendered. Shirk your duties if you can. Do as little as possible for others.”

Better to apply the principles of: Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:19, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8. By living those, the blessings of Ecclesiastes 11:1,2, at the right time and time of need, will come back to you.

Jake Sutton Piedmont Road church of Christ Marietta, GA

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