Take Notes

Posted on: October 26, 2020
Take Notes

I regularly have opportunities to speak with people about a wide range of topics.  From simple conversations about life to focused conversations through counseling.  No matter the age of the individual I have learned there is a gap between good advice and experience.  Between wise counsel and wise application.  For some reason typically we have to go through tough lessons before we understand the value of that wise counsel.  We all have blind spots and areas of weakness.  The goal is to make sure those blind spots are revealed and weaknesses are ministered to.  That eventually we don’t dismiss the warnings of those who have learned through the fire of trials, but that we embrace it so we can be ready when trials arrive.

I was not exempt from this as a young professional hungry to climb the corporate ladder.  I felt I was better than everyone ahead of me.  I should have their job, their income, and their title.  Yup, that was a bold confession.  Yikes!  That was hard to type from the place I sit today.  I have learned so much about the dangerous error in that kind of thinking.  Pride, greed, covetousness, and envy wrapped into one compact sentence.  I believed I could move faster, handle more, and most of all I deserved it!  I was so naïve and arrogant early in my career.  My appetite was too big to give room for humility.  

Many times, I had wise mentors try to steer my immature drive and harness it into humble effectiveness.  I am thankful for their patience.  What advice did they give me to combat this temptation? They told me to take notes.  That’s right.  Take notes.  At the time I was agitated by their response.  Taking notes sounded more like taking a back seat.  But there is a time in all of our lives when we move from the back seat to the driver's seat.  Many of us aren’t ready to drive, because we never observed.  We missed the opportunity to learn from those ahead of us.  What did they do well, what did they struggle at, and what decisions brought failure?  Many of us spend so much time wanting something, we can arrive at the goal ahead of our ability to manage it.  What a disaster that becomes!  I am thankful I learned to take notes throughout my career.  I have grown so much from observing and applying which is followed by evaluation through examination. 

We are certainly at a time in history where an opportunity has arrived.  Fear, anxiety, excuses, hatred, anger, rage, and avoidance are showing their deep roots in a world that hasn’t been taking notes.  The church (Followers of Jesus Christ) are missing the opportunity because most of us haven’t been taking notes.  We haven’t been observing, we have been drifting.  We haven’t been discerning, we have been easily influenced.  The church hasn’t been overcoming, we have been waiting for ease again.  You don’t want to take personal responsibility, you're still waiting for someone to program it for you. 

How did we get to this place believers?  How did we arrive here?  Many are tempted to be surprised by how many “Christians” are terrified of the righteous divide between right and wrong.  However, many are not because they have been taking notes.  We are exactly where we should be, but many of us are not doing what we should be doing. What do I mean? Let’s take a look at 2 Timothy 3. 

 2 Timothy 3:1-5 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

There are numerous warnings in 2 Timothy 3 that can be observed in my previous statement about my troubling qualities as a young professional that are convicting.  How many convicted you?  Are you taking notes yet?  It would be a good time to start.  As followers of Jesus we are not exempt from the trials of temptation within our culture, but we have been given weapons to overcome those temptations daily. 

If this is the time we live in and these are the characteristics of the people we must serve, love, and proclaim the gospel to, we need to be taking notes.  Taking inventory of our own qualities on this list and how to turn them over to Jesus.  To relinquish our complaint and give Jesus full control.  That means you will turn the warning in 2 Timothy 3 into a movement of people who are intentional toward others, lovers of giving, humble, dedicated, reverent, respectful of elders, grateful, holy, loving, forgiving, life speaking, obedient, kind, righteous, loyal, teachable, thankful, and lovers of God rather than lovers of pleasure, demonstrating the power of godliness in authenticity so that people will be drawn to Christ!

I know it's hard to listen to the advice of someone else.  But remember this, the gap between wise advice and wise application is very close for all of us today.  Regardless of your age, we are all witnessing this time together.  The enemy doesn’t care about the number attached to your time spent here.  Neither does sin.  Sin will take any captive it can at any time. We all see the warnings of these characteristics that lead to trauma personally in our daily lives.  They aren’t problems seen by only one nation, people group, or even a specific economic status.  This is the condition of the world for all humans.  I hope you’ve been taking notes, because your time is now.  It’s your turn.  If you feel unprepared, you need to come close to other followers of Christ and followers of Christ need to become serious about who they are following.  If you have been avoiding next steps, time is passing by your excuses.  There is no place like the local church and a body of believers focused on advancing the Kingdom of God.  There is no time like today to start!  Don’t let this wise counsel be left here.  Take notes.  Then make it wise application in your life! 


Pastor Luke