As you whiz through another day that, Lord willing, turns into a week and into a month and into another year, here are a few things I hope you begin to learn and value. Things that, even as a handsome five year old, as you begin to do them, you'll be separated from the majority because you will walk the path that pursues Truth.
"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8
It's never fair. Life, that is. Friends hurt you. Family lets you down. The referee makes a wrong call. The teacher falsely accuses you. But your response to how other people treat you - fair or unfair - is what matters. Choose honesty. Choose kindness. Be the bigger man in the situation, Micah, and choose mercy.
"I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity." 1 Chronicles 29:17
Sometimes it's hard to make good decisions. And, when you're alone, it can be even harder to make good decisions. Choose, right now, to value the truth. Choose, today, to want what God wants - regardless of who else is around, or who else knows, or who else sees.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
Oh, this is a big one! Choices, choices, choices. You hear me say it a lot already: "Was that good choice or a poor choice? Did that choice make Jesus smile?" And you know what, Micah, you're going to keep on hearing it for as long as God gives me the gift of shepherding you. Your choices reflect your heart and your heart reflects the character of who fills it. Choose to let God fill your heart and let him be the guide for all your choices.
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5
Your attitude is your choice. (Hey, there's that whole "choices" idea again.) Your attitude isn't someone else's fault and it's not because of bad circumstances. Your attitude is whatever you choose for it to be. You can't always control what happens to you, but you can control what happens in you.
H :: Humility
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:3-4
Want to make other people feel like a million bucks? Ask them questions. Care about them. Help them. Serve them. Give to them. Because we know Jesus, we have the incredible opportunity to love people in ways that will be impossible for people who don't.
It's good to give your best. It's good to pursue excellence. But never let that stand in the way of choosing to love other people in the process. You have faults and shortcomings, too, so choose to learn from others who excel in your weak areas.
MICAH :: "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11
Happy Birthday, Micah Man!