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10 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Was 21

My Dad (BTW // Happy Birthday Dad!) sent me this article written by Mark Rutland, the President of Oral Roberts University.  He wrote it for Charisma Magazine, and I find much of what he writes to be perfectly said.  He writes on the “10 things I Wish I’d Know when I was 21.”

I especially liked #3 and #9…

3. Kindness is better than being right. Just before my friend Jamie Buckingham died, I asked him for a word of wisdom. He said, It is better to be kind than to be right.

At 21, I advocated my positions too aggressively. I argued with an eye toward winning, unconcerned about the heart of my adversary, who may not have been adversarial at all. I made debate a contact sport. In preaching I let the bad dog off the chain, to the applause of the gallery.

Should time travel be mine and were I to be back in the land of 21, I would be kinder and less concerned with being right. Too many young adults give little thought to kindness.

They Twitter hurtful words like poisonous birds. Their humor is mocking, acidic and unkind. And they are more concerned with being thought clever than with being kind. The value of gentleness has declined on the world market; if I were 21 again I would wish to know the worth of a kind word.

9. Forgiveness doesn t fix everything. Not the happiest truth I wish I had known, but it s among the most sobering. Had I known this I might have been less callous, less reckless and more mindful of the cost.

There are things, relationships and hearts that once broken cannot be fully fixed by forgiveness. The wound, the uncaring and insensitive word—they may be forgiven, but the damage from them may never quite be right again.

When I was 21 I just wanted to be forgiven. I wish I had known to do less damage.

Read the rest of the article HERE:  http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/component/content/article/1078-features/26518-10-things-i-wish-id-known-when-i-was-21#ixzz0kc95Oe0O

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. J.C. · April 13, 2010

    from the young side of the spectrum thanks for this.
    .-= J.C. ´s last blog ..Organizational Buy-In: Value =-.

  2. J.C. · April 13, 2010

    I meant younger… man was there a proofreading tip on that list?
    .-= J.C. ´s last blog ..Organizational Buy-In: Value =-.