Some lessons learned (35 actually). I hope they bless or encourage someone.
1. People tend to value less what is free or where they have no investment. I love giving, yet found people trample under foot lavish giving. If it cost them nothing (time, money, committment, resources) they do not value what is provided. In a few rare cases you find people who genuinely appreciate what does not cost them anything. Psychology Today did an article that showed people who invest nothing have no attachment or sense of ownership. The one who gives or invests is the one who grows to love. Hence God encouraging generosity. Where you sow or invest brings forth an attatchment.
2. People will expect more from you than they are willing to give. I found there are many imperfect people expecting perfection out of everyone else. Or there are people who desire I support their business, their ministry, their dreams, etc…who would not lift a finger or even offer 50 cents for anything I do or anyone else.
3. If you don’t set proper boundaries, people will walk all over you.
4. It is possible to love people and still not give them access to your life.
5. Insecure and selfish people hurt others to cope with their own internal love deficit. People, myself included, can only give away love we possess.
6. Sometimes you reap or experience what you did not sow. Examples from the Bible: Jesus, Job, Joseph.
7. Favor is not a feeling nor do circumstances always reflect the favor of God. Joseph was thrown in a pit. Jesus went to a cross. You must pay attention to the entire story, not a chapter or two.
8. Mankind loves a celebrity, Christian or otherwise. Some people will only support you based on who you know, who they think you know, or to try to get close to someone you know.
9. You must care for all parts of yourself: Body, Soul, and Spirit. Neglect one and the others suffer.
10. People (some not all) are more comfortable with men being confident, assertive, intelligent, powerful and successful. We are still fighting gender stereotypes. Be confident, intelligent, powerful, assertive, and successful anyway. Your audience is God.
11. Some people use “God told me,” or “God said,” as tools of manipulation or to get their way. If God did not tell me, I don’t care what He supposedly told everyone else. I don’t move outside of peace.
12. People who put you down often think you are better than them.
13. Some people want you to suceed, just not more than them.
14. Some people don’t know they are prejudice, sexist, or racist. It just slips out and their cover is “I have a (fill in group they biased against) friend. I don’t see color or gender.” Pray for them. Forgive. Have teaching moments, “That’s rude. That’s racist. That is inappropriate.”
15. Learning to strengthen yourself in the Lord is vital! Don’t look for cheerleaders. Cheer for your own darn self.
16. Some people don’t want to be healed even when they state they do. They subconsciously gain attention or benefit from being sick or holding onto toxic mindsets.
17. I am not Jesus. I point to Jesus. If you let people think they have access to you 24/7, 365 days a week, they will run you into the ground then get upset you broke down.
18. It is common for people to want mercy when they sin and harsh judgement when sinned against.
19. The one who opposes you the most sees you as a threat. They see your potential even if you don’t.
20. Learning to love yourself as God does is wisdom and vital to thriving.
21. The most critical people suffer from low self esteem. Putting others down or harshly critiquing them is a means to cope with internal feelings of inadequacy.
22. Some people won’t support you for fear you will surpass them.
23. Rebuke is a friend to the false prophet/prophecy…”No I am not in agreement with that. No I do not accept your word.” People don’t know they are in error if everyone just nods and smiles. Correct in love, not mean spiritedness. Pray before confronting people.
24. Pushy people need loving correction and boundaries set quickly. If you give an inch, they will drag you miles.
25. We don’t owe anyone friendship. It is a gift to be stewarded.
26. Ministry is not meant to be a hostage situation. It’s okay to take breaks or resign from assignments with proper notice. I tend to give 2-3 months notice, longer if it’s a big role.
27. I get to choose with God who I mentor, vs. people telling me I am their mentor. If people will not meet me halfway with participation and playing their part. I have the right to cease letting people waste my time.
28. People treat us how we let them treat us. People waste our time because we let them.
29. Some people view love as agreement. Which it is not. I can disagree and still love a person.
30. God is not our trunk monkey (fixer) who does everything for us. We have a participation role to play.
31. Some of the people who cry out for revival the most are the least active in partnering with God to see revival. Talking and praying about revival is more important than actually going and doing the works of Jesus and making disciples.
32. Some people like their demons yet will try to convince you they don’t. Actions scream over words.
33. If you let people, they will cling to you instead of Jesus. Say NO!
34. You can pour your heart and soul into people that treat it like nothing. Bless them and understand people will NOT treat you any better than they do God. You are ultimately doing it for God.
35. Pray over relationships and every opportunity. God show me who this person really is. When He shows you, adjust accordingly. Love people, yet set proper boundaries.