My Life Rules


I was tweeting today…this morning to be exact, and this gem of self-pity defeat ran from mind, through my two thumbs and onto my Twitter feed via my iPhone:

“#LifeRules I give myself a maximum of 10 minutes to feel bad over any mistake I’ve made. Then, I go to work at repentance and constructing a plan to move on.”

This was born out of a pitiful moment of injured pride. I was feeling sorry for myself. Something I’d been working toward for quite some time was not turning out the way I’d envisioned.

Commence self-questioning:

Why does stuff like this always happen to me?

Why does it seem like I’m always on the losing team?

How come I can’t ever do anything right?

When will I ever get ahead?

Sound familiar? For me, it had been a way of life. For most of my 32 years, despite being gifted, talented and full of potential, I’ve also been low on self esteem and high on insecurity.

And any time something went wrong in my life, I immediately began sending out invitations to my “Woe-Is-Me” bash.

Needless to say, I’m usually the only one who shows up.

 It’s taken me the better part of 32 years to realize how much of a colossal waste of time feeling sorry for myself is.

So, this morning, I sat and stewed and sulked, asking those aforementioned questions for exactly 10 minutes, before I sent this revolutionary gem of text-message wisdom to my wife:

“Oh well. It is what it is. Back to the drawing board.”

I called a meeting with me and myself and we all agreed that 10 minutes — rather than 10 days — was more than enough time for us to grieve over a gaffe or goof-up.

We voted unanimously to adopt the 10-Minute Mourning rule as a way to deal with every mistake and mess-up in a timely fashion, in order to make ready for the fix.

Then, someone took a key and unlocked a hidden door in my brain called, “Lessons Life Has Taught You,” and out spilled a few more nuggets of new perspective that help divert pity parties.

Let me share them with you:

LifeRule #2.) I don’t treat anybody in my life higher than Jesus Christ. And I don’t regard anyone else to be better or worse than me. Sure, there are those more skilled than me in areas, and I can learn from them. But better than me? Nah. The same God that’s in them resides with me as well!

LifeRule #3.) I won’t beg anyone to do anything for me. I operate on a “two-time asking quotient.” If it’s not done or if there is major attitude involved, I’ll simply smile and say, “It’s okay. I’ve got it.”

I’ve found that often a person’s “NO” gives me permission to say, “YES” I can do this for myself. I’ve discovered quite a few new skills this way!

LifeRule #4.) I have learned to guard my prayer life more than my work or my ministry itself. Life has taught me that the best and most effecient work I can do — despite the task — is prayer.

LifeRule #5.) When a conversation takes a negative or messy turn, I will either shut up and cease all communication clues, or leave the conversation altogether.

My mother often says: “It’s hard for people to be messy and almost impossible for them to gossip alone.” I choose not to provide gossip assistance.

LifeRule #6). I realize some of you may not share my Christian worldview, or my desire to follow Jesus Christ. However, each of you have, no doubt, experienced moments of life-maturation where you discovered the high-value trade-in for substituting “good” for “bad.”

So here’s the rule:

Since I went hard and gave it my best in sin before my relationship with God increased, I might as well go doubly hard for God.

I’ve learned that it’s not prudent to present leftovers to the One who wakes me and grants me life each day.

LifeRule #7.) I respect ME foremost and to the utmost. Why? Because people will never respect you until they see that YOU respect you.

If I value ME, it sets the tone for you and others to follow suit.

LifeRule #8.) I’ve learned to guard my heart, my dreams and my treasured connections. All of these can be broken if placed into the wrong hands.

LifeRule #9.) I’ve learned to guard my body, my intimacy (both sexually and spiritually) and my kindness. All of these can become used and abused if placed into the wrong hands.

LifeRule #10.) I’ve learned to guard my time, my talents and my treasures (money/resources). All of these can be wasted if placed into the wrong hands.

LifeRule #11.) I love this one: Know when it’s time to QUIT!



Let Go.

Stop trying to resurrect stuff that God Himself is trying to crucify in your life. Learn the value of being DONE!

And last, but certainly not least…

LifeRule #12.) For every one thing I can potentially complain about, I’ve learned to find two gems of gratefulness in my life. Everything isn’t bad, no matter how bad everything seems.

When I try to extract weeds in my yard, I find that I must do so very carefully. Because even in the midst of a field full of weeds, there are often at least one or two flowers worth salvaging. If I treat the entire lawn as 100% weeds, I’ll end up killing some flowers that don’t deserve to die.

As you survey the weeds in your life, be careful to also notice and appreciate the flowers!

I pray that this has blessed you, and can perhaps serve as a timely distraction, next time you’re in the mood to throw a pity party.

Remember, no one else is likely to come. 🙂

Please feel free to leave a comment if this has helped you, or if you think I’m a nutbucket! I’m a big boy. I can handle it. 🙂

Until Next Time,

B+ (Be Positive)


~ by gabrielcstovall on March 10, 2012.

2 Responses to “My Life Rules”

  1. Hello Rev. Stovall.
    All 12 life lessons helped me @ age 45 I needed to hear all of them..Thank you so much and be blessed and contiune to hold on. God bless you and your family.
    Love you both
    Sharon Gleaton

    • God bless you Sis. Sharon! I’m so grateful that these little words had somewhat of an impact on you! They definitely help keep me focused day after day. Stay tuned for more! Be blessed!

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