But believer or not, I think most of us can agree that Jesus was a pretty cool dude. The most interesting thing about him is that he seems to appeal to a wide range of people with a wide range of beliefs. Even religions who do not recognize him as Lord and Savior do acknowledge his wisdom. In Islam, Jesus is considered a prophet—not divine, but a prophet nonetheless. His teachings appear in the Quran. Even Gandhi gave him props on being “a great teacher of humanity.”
Clearly there is something to be learned from him, much of it relevant to all of us in our day-to-day lives.
- Love your enemies. This one’s counterintuitive, but stick with me. Hate is a poisonous emotion, and it’s only poisonous to you. There will always be people you don’t care for, people who, quite frankly, suck. You can watch your back, but kill ‘em with kindness. Bonus: If someone is mean to you and you’re only nice back, it makes them look like an ass. “If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?” (Matthew 5:45-47)
- Live in the moment. You’ve got now. Be here. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Jesus said, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matthew 6:34)
- Treat other people the way you want to be treated. Like attracts like. Treat people with respect and kindness, even if they don’t reciprocate. Jesus said, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
- Ask for what you need. How will others know what you need if you don’t ask? The people in your life are not mind readers. Jesus said, “For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:8)
- Don’t judge others. Because not one of us is perfect. Not even me. Jesus said, “…why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7.1-5)
These essential life lessons will take you far in life. Add to that a good sense of humor and you’re all set.