My 12 Rules for Life

A few months ago Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life was all the rage. I found his book interesting and him as a person even more so. What I found interesting is that his rules were based on his worldview. The truth is we all live by a set of propositions we believe to be true. Here are my thoughts on his book as a Christian. His list gave me the idea of coming up with my own list.  I thought it would be fun to give the 12 rules I live by.

  1. Stop eating before you are full – This is one of my many rules that I go by that keep me from gaining weight. I have a book I have never published but have been working on for years called “A Thin Man’s Guide to Losing Weight” – If you stop eating before you get full you will never eat too much.
  2. Teach your kids to protect the small and the weak – speak for those who have no voice. One of the things that get lost in a world where gender roles are not passed on to our kids we have kids who don’t know what they are supposed to do in any given situation. I tell my boys all the time that one of the things men do is protect those who are weaker or smaller than they are. I tell them if they get in trouble for defending kids who are picked on or protecting their sisters they will never be in trouble with me.
  3. Life can only be understood in light of the golden rule in light of the golden ruler. Everyone loves the golden rule not everyone likes the giver of that rule. Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God first and the second is like it to love our neighbor. We can’t truly love our neighbor if we do not love God first and understand how we have been loved by God in Christ.
  4. Go to the buffet table last. This is one my mom always taught me. In a group of people always eat last. No exceptions. It breeds humility.
  5. Work three Jobs at the same time. This is another one my parents taught me. You will never go hungry, and you will make yourself irreplaceable in your work if you can do more than one thing.
  6. Kiss babies and old people. This is a lost virtue in our society. We used to value new life and esteem old life. As a society, we now worship beauty and wealth a culture that sacrifices the most vulnerable for the idols of beauty and wealth will always and every time destroy its self from the inside out. Ask the Greeks and the Romans.
  7. Be efficient with problems so you can be patient with people. I say this to my team all the time. We live in a culture that esteems efficiency and time management so that we can have more time to do what we want. The gospel says this is not the way we invest our life. We are efficient with problems, so we have more time to love and serve others

  8. If something in the Bible doesn’t make sense, the problem is me not the Bible. There has been much debate over the reliability of the Bible lately even within those who consider themselves to be evangelical. I have read and studied the Bible for years, and there are some parts of it don’t understand and can’t explain, but that isn’t because the Bible is unclear or untrue but rather because I am not always right and don’t know everything. The Bible is always true and has always been true. This was fought for during the Reformation and is still needing our defense today.
  9. Read more than you rant. – If you don’t read you will say what you have heard from others rather than what you have learned on your own. My problem with so many people who rant on Facebook and social media is most of them have never read a book and have no understanding of history. If you don’t understand the great conversation or have read enough of history your ranting will be the passionate regurgitation of the talking head of your choice. When you read your life is lead more by conviction than reaction.
  10. Don’t care what people think be disagreeable. You will never change the world you will never make a difference you will never stand up for what is true if you care what people think. I learned this as a young person that not everyone will like me. Jesus said “Beware when all men speak well of you” wanting to liked used to control me far more than it should have. Who doesn’t like you and why speaks to who you are as much as who likes you and why they like you. There are times in life when being disagreeable is more important than going with the flow. Knowing when to be disagreeable takes the maturing that a whole life brings.
  11. Listen more than you speak. This is a fatal flaw of so many leaders. They feel that they are not leading if they aren’t speaking. As a leader listen more than you speak.
  12. Faithful over famous. This is perhaps the biggest issue facing the modern North American church. The access to social media and media outlets has created the celebrity pastor whose fame and success has become the benchmark of every pastor in the ministry. We go to conferences to learn how to be more successful and grow larger ministries yet how often do you hear a message on loving well the people God has given you. Rarely do we measure our success by being faithful to the call of God over bigger and better job opportunities. Counting heads is cheap, and easy making disciples is messy and takes a lifetime. Pastor leader be faithful over famous.

Those are my 12 Rules I would love to hear yours!

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