My grandpa, or poppa as I grew up calling him, has taught me many things over the course of my life. Those lessons didn’t come from words or a big teaching moment; they came from his life. His life spoke the love of Christ louder than words could ever express. Over the years I have learned many things from watching him. Here’s 5 of the biggest lessons I learned from him through my childhood and teen years.
1. People Are Important
Growing up I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. One thing I remember vividly is wherever we went my grandpa could strike up a conversation with anyone. I watched from a young age as he showed care and compassion to everyone he came in contact with. It didn’t matter if he knew them or if they were complete strangers; he took time to show them they were important to him. This wasn’t a phase to him, and it is something that he still does to this day.
2. Loving God Takes Action
It’s easy to say you love God. In fact most people would probably say they do. However love requires action. Do you really love something or someone if you never show it with action? My grandpa showed his love for God and the church clearly through his actions. Through conversations about the church or giving up an afternoon to help out, he showed his love through his actions.
3. Work Hard
I can’t remember many times in my life where my grandpa wasn’t doing something. He was always building or fixing something, helping a neighbor, or cleaning the house. He always worked hard at what he did. Though he always worked hard it never got in the way of a conversation; he was never too busy for people.
4. Selfless Is Better Than Selfish
My grandpa is one of the most selfless people I know. Beyond the occasional nap or smoking an afternoon pipe, I can’t remember him taking much time for himself. He was always off serving others. The result of his selfless way of living is evident. A life lived for others is a much more fulfilled life than a life lived for oneself. The life my grandpa has led and is leading is full because he has lived for those around him.
5. Your Life Says More Than Your Words Will Ever Will
The way you live your life speaks much louder than the words you say. My grandpa lived his life in a way that people knew what he was about before he even opened his mouth. Words are cheap and easy to say, but unless they are backed up by a life that matches they don’t mean anything. But a life that is lived well speaks louder and has a greater impact on those around.
We can all learn something from these lessons. But the last one is one we should all remember. I believe we all want to lead a life that will make an impact on those around us. However we often forget that the desire alone is not enough. Our lives speak a much louder story than our words ever will. What we value will ultimately play out in our lives and will be what people remember us for.
Let me end with this question. What do you want to be remembered for?
How you answer that question should determine your values and how you live your life now. People won’t remember much of what you say. But they will remember how you lived, how you treated others, and what you showed value to. My grandpa understands that and lived his life in a way that made a huge impact on those around him, including me. It’s a challenge we should all accept—to live a life now that will make a lasting impact on those around us.