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Midlife Wisdom

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Take advantage of this midlife wisdom so that you can avoid a midlife crisis!

What thing that comes to mind when a middle-aged guy buys a sports car, wears a gold chain, and dyes his hair?  Yup — Midlife Crisis!  Some stories are comical, some are sad.

Kevin Myers, Senior Pastor of 12Stone Church delivered a message recently that finished up a series titled Heartless. In that message, Kevin talked about some things I want to pass along to you.

It seems to me that instead of having a midlife crisis, which by the way is not limited to men, we ought to tap into midlife wisdom. Here are three points Kevin talked about. (With a few editorial comments here and there.)

1. By midlife you should have enough success to know its limits.  If you’ve worked hard, learned all you can and worked smart, you have likely experienced some success.  You’ve learned that being successful can’t solve issues of identity.  Success can’t solve matters of your personal security. And success doesn’t remove the reality of your mortality. Don’t get me wrong, success is good. I mean, really, who gets up in the morning and says I hope I fail?! But if you don’t know who you are, and if you are not comfortable with who you are, no amount of success will help you. You are not your job, your job is what you do.  If you are an insecure person, success won’t fix that that either. Success and insecurity are a breeding ground for pride and arrogance. And, hey, if you are in your 40s or 50s you know your body is not what it used to be. You aren’t going to live forever. What you do that lasts for eternity is so much more important than earthly success.

2. By midlife you should have enough experience to know clichés have meaning. These “sayings” were written for a reason and have great value. Those who are not yet to midlife may roll their eyes, but you know the truth. Pay now or pay later is one of my favorites. Whether its exercise, money, or relationships you are either disciplined up front for years or you pay dearly later for many years. And the backside of the equation is always more difficult.  Here’s another:
“Love God and Love Others.” This is not some pithy saying that you put on a poster. It has profound meaning, and it’s a call to action. If you are a Christian there are dozens of “ideas” in the Bible that you are called to live. People always behave what they really believe.  Remember the Rich young ruler?  Check out that story again in Luke chapter 18:18-29.

3. By midlife you should have enough money to know its emptiness. Again, don’t get me wrong. Money is good. It provides a good life and used wisely, it helps people. So back to working smart and hard, for a long time, and being wise with your money– you should have some. At least enough to know it can’t buy love and just a little more won’t solve your problems. When you are young, this is difficult to understand or believe. And candidly, you don’t really need to have a lot of money to figure out the difference between temporary and permanent. Very little of what you spend your money on will last forever. So, back to what you believe – are they clichés or proven life principles that require action. What do you believe about your money? How does your money shape your behavior? Are you earning to spend or earning to give? Money doesn’t have to be empty, find the fullness of giving. Who are you helping?

Well there you have it... some great thoughts to chew on.  What really makes you happy? What really matters? Who are the people you love the most — do they know it? Reflect and reset your life where needed. It’s never too late.  Take advantage of this midlife wisdom and avoid a crisis!

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