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Watch 2022 online sermons » Andy Stanley » Andy Stanley - Connecting the Dots

Andy Stanley - Connecting the Dots

Andy Stanley - Connecting the Dots
TOPICS: You'll Be Glad You Did, Wisdom

Today we are beginning a brand new series entitled "You'll Be Glad You Did: Timeless Advice for Troubled Times". Now here's what we all have in common. This isn't a religious thing. This is just the thing thing. We have all lived. Most of us have lived long enough basically to reap the benefits from some good decisions we've made and some good habits we've developed. And most of us have lived long enough to have dealt with the consequences of some bad decisions we've made and some bad habits we've developed.

So, looking back, again, this is kind of the wide end of the funnel. Looking back, we are either glad that we did or we wish we had, or we're glad we didn't, and we wish we hadn't, right? I mean, right now, every one of us can stand up and tell a, hey, I'm glad I did, or I wish I had story. Now because this is just part of growing up, eventually we realize that life is connected, that the decisions we make today end up impacting what's gonna happen tomorrow or create tomorrow's realities, and this is the lesson that every single parent does everything they can to impart to their children. If you raise kids or raise grandkids, you've said it 1,000 times, "These grades count".

In fact, let's just say it together. These grades count. Yeah, because what we're saying is this. Your academic decisions now determine your academic options later. And your academic options later determine the people you meet, and the people you meet determine the people you date, and the people you date determines who you bring home, and the people you bring home determines who you marry, and the people you marry determine who your in-laws are. And if I don't like your in-laws, I won't be happy. So at the end of the day, your grades ultimately determine my happiness. So study hard, because my happiness depends on it.

Okay, maybe that's not how it went down in your home, but you get the point, and that kind of silly illustration actually illustrates the importance of the topic that we're gonna talk about for the next few weeks, because it underscores another facet regarding the connectedness of life, because not only when we think about the things we're gonna talk about for the next few weeks, not only will you be glad you did, other folks will be glad you did as well, because today's decisions impact your tomorrows, but they also impact the tomorrows of the people you love the most and care about the most. And this is a really, really big deal. And maybe you knew this, but I'll just throw this out there in case you haven't thought about in a while.

Isn't this true? We are rarely happier than our relationships are healthy. So your decisions now, my decisions now, my decisions in this season of life that have the potential to impact my relationships later, ultimately it comes back to me. So this is not just about us, but it impacts everybody around us, but ultimately it comes back on us. Your decisions aren't just about you. In fact, again, most of us have lived long enough to know this. In fact, I'm gonna say some things in the next few minutes, and you're gonna think what I think, even when I put a message like this together. I wish I had known this when I was 20, or I wish I would have remembered it when I was 20, or I certainly wish I would've applied this when I was in my 20s that in every season of life, we make decisions that impact and shake the lives of the people around us in the next season of life.

So, in this series, here's what I'm gonna do, and this is a little bit strange. And if you're like a real, real, super church person, just hang with me for a few minutes. If you're not a church person at all, you are gonna enjoy the first part of the message anyway. Here's what we're gonna do for the next few weeks. And I really wanna encourage you to either be here for the whole series or at least to watch for the whole series. For the next few weeks, I'm gonna to give you, I don't claim that I commit with any of this stuff, some unoriginal, in some cases learned it the hard way, you'll be glad you did advice. It's just advice. These are not moral or ethical imperatives. In other words, these aren't rules. We all already know we're old enough to know the rules, the rights and the wrongs.

In fact, your greatest regret was probably connected to a broken rule. This glad you did advice that we're gonna talk about for the next few weeks will ensure that you don't break the rules that have the potential to break you, the potential to break your heart, the potential to break the hearts of the people that you love the most. And in week five, we're gonna give you some advice that will keep you from going broke. So this is just learned it the hard way, didn't make any of this up, just practical, practical advice.

Now, the advice that I'm gonna give you is like the advice you give other people, because all of us that we love to give advice when somebody says, "Hey, can I get your opinion"? You're like it is free and it's worth as much. Okay, we all love to give our opinion. You love to give advice. So the advice that we're gonna talk about is just like the advice that you give. They're not rules. This advice kind of sits between the rules. It's not in the realm of right and wrong, ethical, unethical, moral, immoral, or legal versus illegal. This sits between the rules. This sits in the category of wisdom, and wisdom, this is a definition I just made up, you may have a better one. Wisdom is basically insights like things like I understand this as an insight, insights informed by the knowledge, again, going back to what we said at the beginning, that life is connected, that today shapes tomorrow, that one thing leads to another.

So, here's a couple examples of what we're talking about. Here's some good advice. Okay, here's some good advice. Don't trade what you want most for what you want in the moment. That's good advice, right? I mean, don't trade what you want most for what you want in the moment. Now, if you're a parent, you're like I'm gonna write that down, tell my kids. Let's think about your kids later. Let's think about us for a minute, okay? Don't trade what you want most for what you want in the moment. In other words, if you have financial goals, what you ultimately want most financially, well, then don't do something stupid now financially that's gonna rob you of what you ultimately want.

If you're in school and you have academic goals, goals then what you ultimately want most, don't do anything now that's gonna rob you of what you want most in the future. This has to do with your marriage relationships, with everything. And here's the point of where we're going for the next few weeks. There's nothing illegal about ignoring this. There's nothing immoral about ignoring this. There's nothing unethical about ignoring this, right? But to ignore this, it's just a bad idea. To ignore this principle or to ignore this advice, it's just unwise. Here's another one. This one's a little harder. Fear being wrong more than you fear admitting you're wrong. None of us like to admit we're wrong, especially when we're talking to our spouse, especially when we're talking to our kids, or if you're an adult and you're talking to even your parents or a friend or somebody at work, nobody likes to say, "Oh yeah, I was completely wrong about that".

Now some categories, it doesn't matter. But a lot of times, we kind of get in a back and forth, and as you're going back and forth, it begins to dawn on you. Uh oh. I didn't know that. Uh oh, I hadn't thought about that, but now you've dug in your heels. You've kind of made your case. And so nobody wants to admit they're wrong. And so we fear looking wrong. And so we kind of add more and more words to an argument that never made sense to begin with, but that's so ridiculous, right? We should fear being wrong more than we fear admitting we're wrong. Here's maybe the deepest thing I'm gonna say all day. So, we'll get this out quick. The great thing about admitting that you're wrong when you're wrong is you're not wrong anymore. I'm gonna go over that again, because that's rare. That's very significant. That's deep, and I can see you just glazed over. It's like, what's he talking about? Yeah, the great thing about admitting you're wrong when you realize you're wrong is you're not wrong anymore.

How many of you wanna spend the rest of your life wrong about a bunch of stuff? Yeah, that would be no one. So when we realize we've been wrong, we should throw a party, because from now on, I'm not gonna be wrong about that anymore, but isn't it true that's not how we work? On the inside, we get defensive rather than making progress, but you can't grow if you're resist admitting you're wrong. Okay, so that's not the sermon. That's just good advice. I mean, that's just wisdom. So wisdom, the other thing wisdom does, wisdom gives us two gifts or helps us in two specific capacities. One is wisdom serves as a guide, and we're gonna talk a little bit about that.

So wisdom serves as a guide. If you think about it, the decisions that you make in your life, your decisions are like the steering wheel of your life. If you look back and you think about how you got to where you are, you steered your way there for good or for bad, and you steered your way where you are for the most part. I mean, other people impacted it. But for the most part, you steered your way where you are based on your decisions. So good decisions get us to where we want to go. I mean, duh, right? And wisdom, here's the role of wisdom. Wisdom fills the decision making gaps when we don't know exactly what to do. We're trying to make a decision. We're trying to decide. And in those moments when we're not exactly sure what we should do, when we ask the question, hmm, "What is the wise thing to do?" In other words, when we invite wisdom into the decision making equation, wisdom oftentimes brings instant or ultimate clarity to decision making.

In fact, years and years ago, I encouraged some of you, many of you, I've talked about this a couple of times that when you're making a decision, you should ask the, what is the wise thing to do at three different levels, in light of my past experience, in light of my current circumstances, here's the big one, in light of my future hopes and dreams. In light of my past experience, not your past experience, my past experience, in light of my current circumstances or my current state of mind, and in light of my future hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing for me to do? That decision, I mean, that question oftentimes brings instant clarity to the decision making process, because wisdom aids us in making decisions.

Now, the second thing it does is wisdom allows us or helps us set up guardrails. We've talked about this before as well. You know the purpose of a guardrail The purpose of a guardrail is to keep you a safe distance from danger. We all need financial, moral, and certainly relational guardrails. And the reason we need those guardrails is because guardrails protect our mental, our emotional, and our physical safety. And, parents, your children need guardrails as well, because your responsibility as a parent, my responsibility as a parent is to help protect and guard my child's emotional, physical, and mental health. So guardrails do that for us.

Now, again, kind of stepping back to the advice mode for a minute. Here's something I've observed. I've observed this in my life. I've observed this in the lives of so many people, too many people. And maybe it's as if I'm about to read a little bit of your story. And the great thing about our past is we can learn from it if we can bring out of it or tease out of it those lessons to carry into the future, and this may be one of them. Greatest regrets, we all have regrets. Greatest regrets are often preceded by a series of unwise decisions, not immoral, not unethical, not illegal. Your greatest regret, probably, greatest regrets are generally preceded by a series, not of illegal, immoral, but simply unwise decisions.

So let me meddle for just a minute, and we'll get back to this sermon. If you are currently making a series of unwise relational decisions, you are moving toward a relational regret, I promise. And whereas the unwise decisions have virtually no immediate consequence, the ultimate regret and the circumstances surrounding that regret may follow you the rest of your life. And the role of wisdom is to keep you back in a safe distance from regret. Or put it this way, if you're in the process of making a series of unwise financial decisions and your husband or your wife or your friend or your roommate or your fiance's going, "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know," And there's something in you that's going, you know, this probably isn't the wisest thing to do, but you keep doing it, keep doing it.

Let me just predict your future for you. You are moving toward a financial regret. And once you get into the realm of regret, you can't go back, and that regret may follow you the rest of your life. And I could go through every single arena of life that our greatest regrets are generally preceded by not immoral, illegal decisions, by unwise decisions. So in this way, asking what's the wise thing to do and inviting wisdom into our decisions, which comes right back to the advice that we're talking about, wisdom protects us from unnecessary regret. And all you have to do and all I have to do is to take that one simple idea and drop it into my past, and I'm like, yep, my greatest regret that day, that moment, that weekend when I made that decision, I wish I could go back and undo, it wasn't just outta nowhere. It was I set myself up by making a series of not illegal, not immoral decisions, not even unethical decisions, just unwise decisions.

So in that way, wisdom, you know what wisdom does? Wisdom highlights the danger zone. And I get this. I realize that out along the edges is always where we burn to be, further on the edge, the hotter, the intensity. You wanna take it right into the danger zone. You wanna ride into the danger zone. Back here in the real world, what happens in the danger zone? What does it do? It often sets us up or leads us to the disaster zone. So, again, sort of moving out of the message for a minute. Here's some more wisdom here. Here's some more advice. Here's an observation that you bring this into the realm of decision making. This will help you out. Culture, we've all experienced this. Culture. Culture will bait you to the threshold of self-destruction, and then condemn you once you step through the door.

This is what culture does, and there's nobody behind this. There's not a group of people in a room going, "How can we just destroy more lives"? Nobody's doing that. All right, that's what we think sometimes. It's like, no, they're not. They're not trying to destroy your kids. You know what they're trying to do, they, whoever they are? They're trying to make money. That's all they're trying to do. They're just trying to make money. That's fine, you're the same way. We're all trying to make money, but there are waves and there are threads through our culture that bait us and bait our children and bait our high school students through the threshold of self-destruction.

It's like, come on, come on, come on, come on, come on. And then the moment we step through the door, culture changes the conversation and changes the direction of the conversation. And it's like you fool, you idiot. You're crazy, you know what? What's wrong with you? This is just the nature of life. And wisdom has the power to allow us and empower us and provide us what we need to avoid all that. In fact, wisdom empowers us to avoid the disaster zone, because wisdom keeps us back from the edge of the danger zone.

Now, say Andy that's great. That's all well and good. So happy we're here today. Give me some things, take away to talk to my kids about, think about, but why are we talking about this in church? This is starting to sound like afternoon television, right? I mean, this doesn't sound very, very churchy. And here's why we're talking about this in church. And here's why we're gonna talk about it for several weeks, because this is so amazing. Jesus connected his invitation to follow, and that's the invitation of Jesus if this is one of your first times watching, or one of your first times with us. That's the invitation of Jesus. He didn't start with believe. He started with follow. And Jesus' invitation to follow him leads us into a life or a lifestyle that's characterized by wisdom.

Now there's a huge implication connected to that I wanna stop and talk about, then we're gonna move on. That's this. If you're not a religious person or you're of a different faith tradition, or if you used to be a Christian and you've sort of walked away, or you had a really bad church experience, and we get that. If we heard your story, we'd be like, yep, I'd be hesitant to if that had happened to me. So if you're not really a person of faith or not a Christian or a Jesus person, here's the good news. Just about everything in this series is gonna be practical, helpful, a takeaway for you. for some of your friends maybe, maybe your kids. In fact, this advice alone was worth the price of admission. I mean, this statement alone, this explains perhaps your past and is gonna help you avoid regret in the future, right? But the point is, if you're not a Jesus follower, if you're not a Christian, application of any of this stuff is, of course, 100% optional. You don't have to do any of it. You can just listen and take notes and say I'll take a little bit of this, take a little bit of that.

I think I'm gonna share this with a friend, but I'm not gonna apply it myself. I mean, you just pick and choose. There's gonna be so much helpful stuff in this series. But if you're a Jesus follower, if you're a Christian, if there's something in you that you wake up every day and to the best of your ability, you're surrendering yourself to the Lordship of Christ and you wanna follow Jesus, then the way of wisdom is essential. It's actually baked into the teaching of Jesus. I'm gonna give you a quick example. This is a little parable that I refer to all the time, because it was so pivotal in the life and message of Jesus, but I don't know that we've actually looked at the verses in a long, long time, but for some of you, this is gonna elicit memories of a song.

For others of you, you would've heard this before. Some of you have heard this and didn't even know Jesus said it, but at the end of the sermon on the Mount, now the sermon on the Mount, you find a version in Matthew, you find a version in Luke, and the reason the versions don't line up is because this was Jesus' go-to message. Jesus had an earthly ministry for about three to three and a half years. If you take the gospels and look at all the events in the gospels, that could have taken place in about two and a half weeks. What was this what we wanna know? What are you doing the rest of that time? What are you saying? What are you teaching? And we believe, scholars believe that the sermon on the Mount was essentially the go-to message for Jesus. These were his kingdom ethics. This is how you live. This is how you respond. This is how you react. This is how you serve. This is how you love. This is how you reflect your father in heaven.

So it's amazing, and he preached this over and over and over. So at the end of this epic sermon on the Mount that basically describes and defines the message and the ministry of Jesus, at the very end, here's how he ends that message, and this is where we see the connection between following Jesus and the way of wisdom. And the way of wisdom is basically the anchor for all the advice we're gonna talk about for the next few weeks. Again, not a Jesus follower, pick and choose. Jesus follower, hey, this is how we're to live our life. Here's what he said. He said, "Therefore," this is the very end, he just finished this long message, "Everyone who hears" or just heard, "These words of mine and puts them into practice," and here's our word, "Is like a wise man".

The implication is I want you to walk wisely. I want you to live wisely. I want your life, your decisions, your relationships, your finances, every arena of life, I want it to be characterized and shaped by wisdom. And then he points to or underscores or illustrates the connectedness of life. He says this, "Therefore, every man who hears these words of mine puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock," which means nothing to us. In fact, it means the opposite to us, because you don't wanna buy a lot full of rock, right? You're gonna spend a lot of money and time getting rid of the rock.

But back then it was a whole different thing. There were no automated tools. There's no dynamite. There's no jackhammers. It's just hard work. But the wisest thing to do in ancient times was to find a piece of land that had some rock that had a foundation that wasn't gonna shift with the weather and shift with the rain and potentially a flood.

And so he said this wise man actually took the time and the effort to build his house on rock. When he says this, everybody in Jesus' audience knew what that meant. It meant a lot of time, a lot of expense, and it could be done a lot quicker and a lot cheaper. And then you'll remember perhaps Jesus said this. The rain came down, because eventually even in that part of the world, that's what would happen. "The rain came down, the streams rose," and in this part of the world, the streams rose really quickly. They didn't have a lot of rain, but when it rained, because the earth was so dry, it was dangerous. "Streams rose, and the wind blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall".

Why didn't it fall? Well, it wasn't because the owner did the moral thing or the ethical thing or even the right thing. It's because the builder did the wise thing. And Jesus says this is what I'm inviting you to. This is the life I want you to live, and I'm gonna help you live it if you will listen and follow me. Then you remember the other half of this parable. "But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice," you heard it, right, you were the note taker, you agreed with it even, "Anyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man".

Now, by a foolish man, we don't like the word fool, you fool. We don't use that language, but here's what that meant in New Testament times, even in Old Testament times. A fool is someone who decides to live their life as if life isn't connected, that today isn't connected to tomorrow, that that'll just work out when it works out, that I'll deal with that when I come to it, that today's decisions don't in any way, shape, or form define what my future's like, that what I do in the relationship today isn't gonna impact the future later. What I do financially today isn't gonna impact my finances later. What I do academically today, there's just no connection. So the fool or the foolish person is the person that trades what they want most, trades what they want most for what they crave and desire and want in the moment.

Here's what's amazing. Jesus is inviting all of us away from that kind of thinking and that kind of living. He goes on, "Everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn't put 'em into practice like a foolish man who built his house on sand". And again, there's huge implications for all of us here, but here's one in particular that you don't necessarily see in the text. If you're not a religious person or not a Christian person, or if you had like a really bad church experience and somebody's dragged you in here to one of our churches or they're making you watch, 'cause you're spending the weekend with 'em like, "Now if you stay with us, you know we watch this crazy guy," whatever the thing is, here's what I want you to hear. And maybe this will mean something and maybe this will mean something later.

The implication is this, that Jesus; instructions, the teaching of Jesus is for our benefit, not our detriment, that Jesus taught for our benefit, that Jesus taught for your benefit. He taught for your benefit, not your detriment. If your interaction with Christians has always been as if somebody was trying to take something from you, and they didn't seem as if they were actually for you, I don't know what was going on in that church, and you might have even experienced some of that in one of our churches, I hope not, but I just want you to know and hear from me, and, again, read through the gospels, when Jesus taught, he was inviting people into a better life. He was not trying to take something from them, because Jesus came for them, and Jesus came for us. I mean, it's the most famous verse in the whole Bible, "For God so loved the world" that he does what you do when you love somebody. He gave something of value. He gave his son.

This is why we say, and if you've been around here for a while, hopefully you can quote this by now, I certainly hope so, that following Jesus will make your life better and ultimately make you better at life. It'll make you a better father and a better friend and a better wife and a better mother and a better employer and a better employee. It'll make you better everything, not immediately, but ultimately, and eventually, because that's the nature of wisdom. Wisdom is sowing now, so we can reap later. Wisdom is giving up now, so I can have later. Wisdom is doing the hard thing now, so life may not be so hard later. Wisdom is investing now, so there's something to show for it later, whether it's investing in my marriage, investing in my kids, or even investing financially.

This is the life that God has invited us into, and Jesus modeled it for us. He's asked us to live according to the way of wisdom or the short version, to simply walk wisely. Now, that's kind of the subtle part of that parable that Jesus wants something for us, but here's the actual point of the parable, and this is the big takeaway. And as obvious as this sounds, when I say it, it's something that, unfortunately, isn't so obvious when the pressure's on to ignore it. The point of the parable that's really almost impossible to miss is this that knowing and doing are two completely different experiences with two completely different outcomes. That knowing and doing are two completely different experiences with two completely different outcomes. And unfortunately, one is often used as an excuse to ignore the other. In other words, we are quick to defend our refusal to do, because we know.

Let me illustrate that for you. If you got kids or if you've ever been a kid, either category, if you've got kids or you've ever been a kid, you had this experience and you've maybe been on both sides of this experience, you know, "Honey, dad just wants you..". "I know, I know, I know. I don't need you to tell me. I know, I know. I don't need you to tell me". "I know, I know honey, honey, I've heard that. I know, I know". This happens in our marriages, right? This happens with our kids, happens with our parents, happens with... I know, look, look. I know, I know, I know, I know. I don't need you to tell me. The assumption being is that knowing is enough. Since I know, I'll do, but that's not true, right? And yet isn't it true that when we hear something we need to hear, our immediate reaction sometimes is I know, I know, I know?

In other words, you don't need to tell me that, but perhaps they do. In fact, already in our last few minutes together, I've said some things you've heard before that if somebody else said it to you, you would've said, "I know, I know, I know, I know," but, see, knowing and doing are two completely different experiences, and here's what's so amazing.

Again, I don't know what your church experience has been. And I don't know what your interaction with Christians has been like, but let me just tell you about Jesus for a minute. His heart's desire, this is why he said what he said. This is why he told this principle, this parable, excuse me. His heart's desire is that we would do and not just hear, that we would act on and not just listen to, because knowing, but not doing has the same outcome as not knowing. Knowing without doing, knowing, but not doing, it's as if you might as well not even known. In fact, it's worse than that, to know and not to do. If I can be unkind to know and not to do makes a fool out of you, right? Applied wisdom, this is why Jesus was so amazing.

Look up here. This is why God became flesh and dwelt among us. This is why God didn't just send us a letter. This is why God didn't send us more commandments. This is why God didn't send us more law. This is why God didn't send us just a to-do list. And if your whole religious experience, regardless of your religion, has been a to-do list, I would just love for you to pause and read through the gospels and follow Jesus through the gospels. The reason God became flesh and dwelt among us was to show us what to do, so that we would know what to do, because it's applied wisdom that makes the difference, not in an effort for him to take something from us, but because he was for us. Doing is what makes the difference.

So I'm gonna meddle one more time. Last time this message I'm gonna meddle with you. And again, this is... I mean, I have no authority over any of you. You can do whatever you want. So this is just me giving you some advice. What do you know you need to do, but you just aren't doing it? What do you know you need to do, but you just aren't doing it? In fact, you're watching or you're sitting with someone and they are trying really, really hard not to do this, because you talked about it on the way today. You talked about it last night. You finally said to them, "Honey or sweetheart or buddy or roommates, I know, look, look, look, don't bring that up again, I know". And they're thinking, well, why don't you do it? So let me just say it one more time, what do you know you need to do, you just aren't doing it?

Let me tell you why this is important question. Because until you do it, you are living as if life is disconnected, and you know better than that. You've advised better than that. You know what you would tell a friend who is in your circumstances. You know what you would tell a child or a grandchild in your circumstance. You know better. And here's the urgency of the gospel. And here's the urgency of Jesus. Read the gospel. He's like the reason I came to earth to live among you is because I want you to apply, and I want you to do, because I love you. Knowing without doing doesn't make any difference. It makes a fool out of you. And if you know what you need to do and you refuse to do it, these are Jesus' words, not mine, you're like a foolish man who built this house on the sand, knowing that down the road, this may be a disaster, regret.

So, what do you need to stop doing you just haven't stopped yet? What do you need to start doing? You know you need to start doing it. You just haven't done it. What's the relationship you know you need to end and you just haven't ended it? What's the relationship you know you need to reconcile or try to reconcile and you just haven't even tried? You know you gotta start with a text or a letter or an email, or you just need to show up or you need a coffee. You know, you know, you know, and every once in a while, somebody who loves you says, "Honey, hey, buddy," and you're like, "I know". Come on, come on, nobody knows what you're thinking, but me. So it's just me and you.

What do you know you need to do, but you just haven't done it? God who loves you, the savior who died for you says, come on, do it. Well, what is it? You need to start. What is it? So I wanna give you some advice. Just advice. Remember advice, not moral, immoral, ethical. It's just advice that sits right there in the realm of wisdom. I'm gonna give you some advice. Whatever it is you know you need to do and just haven't done it, do it today. You'll be glad you did, because you wish you already had. It's that simple. And this is why. I'm gonna wrap up. This is so powerful.

This is why Jesus' invitation didn't end with, "Learn from me". He said, "I want you to follow me. And if you will follow me, if you will apply the wisdom I give you, If you'll apply the teaching I give you, if you'll embrace my upside down ethic where you go to the back of a line and you put people ahead of you, if you'll apply what I've invited you to apply, if you will live out the wisdom that I've left for you, then here's the promise. I will help you build a house. I will help you build a life that can endure. I will help you lay a foundation that can endure the difficulties of adulthood and the cultural norms and the cultural exceptions and the things that come your way you don't even know are coming. And if you'll follow me and if you'll apply what I teach you," he says, "I promise you, you will be glad you did, but maybe more important than that, the people that you care for most, they'll be glad you did as well".

But here's the starting point. What do you know you need to do and you just haven't done it? Just do it. You'll be glad you did. And we'll pick it up right there next time in part two of "You'll Be Glad You Did: Timeless Advice for Troubled Times".

Heavenly Father, easier to talk about than to do. Heavenly Father, you just ripped open our hearts, and we just can't wait to go to lunch, go to dinner, get outta here, turn this off, go shopping, do anything else than to face what we didn't know we were about to be faced with. This is just how you do what you do. Thank you for loving us enough not to leave us alone. Thank you for loving us enough to leave this kind of stuff out there in front of us. So wherever this lands with us, just give us the wisdom to know what to do. Then give us the courage to do it, because you love us. It's the life you've invited us into. We pray all of that in the matchless name of Jesus, our savior, our Lord, our deliverer, Amen.

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