A young friend asked what I've learned so far that would benefit him. Here's what I said...
It's hard to condense a partial lifetime of learning into a few pieces of advice, but here goes:
1) Love God (which includes friendship, listening, talking, obedience,
humility...) with your whole being and love Him more than anything
(activity, item you own, etc) or anyone else in your life. This takes
practice and effort and sometimes just takes "chilling out" with God.
2) Care for your soul - there is a place for things other than God that
feed one's soul. Those things should be done only to the extent that you have
something in you to give to the people closest and dearest to you first
and then the rest of the people around you.
3) Use the gifts God has given you (we all do have spiritual gifts) to
build up the people closest to you first, then the church you are part
of, then the larger church in the world and then the people around you
that don't yet know God. Enthusiastic and consistent use of gifts in
love will often result in God giving more spiritual gifts to you to
4) Love and be friends with people who show interest in God whether they
enter a relationship with God or not. Keep those friendships. People
are not projects/evangelism targets. They see our hearts and know
whether we really like them as people or if we're just being "friends"
so they can be saved. Lots of damage is done by Christians who leave
God and His timing and love out of the pursuit of unsaved people.
5) Remember that everyone has something to teach you, no matter if
they're 2 years old or 100, rich or poor, homeless or not. If you
approach people with that humility in your heart, you will be a very
What would you add?