Ten Lessons From 2023

Andy Richardson
3 min readDec 27, 2023

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“I considered the days gone by” (Psalm 77:5).

Don’t stumble into the new year.

Instead, take some time to think about the lessons learned, or re-learned, from 2023. Here is my list, but yours will look different. The perspective gained from a consideration of the past twelve months will hep give you a great start to the new year.

Top Ten Countdown Lessons from 2023

10. Capture the best from each present moment. Look for what will make the best memories for tomorrow in that which you are experiencing today. Find that special moment and hold it tight to your heart so that regret and bitterness will have no room to grow.

9. Discipline yourself for godliness. Having a healthy lifestyle is a second level priority in life. Godliness is more profitable than diet and exercise (1 Timothy 4:7–8) and yields eternal benefits, not just temporary ones. Planks, pilates, and organics, are nothing compared to disciplined Bible study and willing service for the Lord.

8. Give the benefit of the doubt to the other person. Judge them on their best qualities and their best intentions, not their worst. Forgive easily. Don’t hold grudges. Disconnect your hot buttons (my biggest personal challenge). Remember their better selves.

7. Don’t be afraid to attempt big things for God. I never expected to begin a church building project at my age with limited resources. But, it was clear that God wanted this done, and just this month the project was completely finished right in time for Christmas.

6. Giving touches us more deeply than receiving. We give to those in need as God leads. Over the years, this consistently has led to helping the poor here at home, and the orphans in Honduras and Guatemala. Nothing brings tears to the eyes as much as seeing the joy in those whom we have helped. Be ready to give every day… your time, your talent, and your treasure.

5. Prayer is proof that you are trusting God. Whenever your life is beyond your control, you have entered into God territory. Faith is needed more and prayer increases. If you aren’t praying, you aren’t trusting (evidently you don’t need God’s help).

4. Faithfulness is success in God’s eyes. If you aren’t available to serve God, you can’t be a success in His eyes. If you slack off in doing what God has called you to do, you aren’t faithful in His eyes. It isn’t how impressive the task is that counts for God, its how well you fulfilled it that makes you a success or not.

3. God does the impossible with and without miracles. All things are possible with God. He can make what you think is impossible come to fruition in ways that you cannot imagine and in a timeline that probably will frustrate you (so impatient, you are). Let Him work in your situation. Don’t dictate how He must do it. Soon enough that which was impossible will become your reality.

2. Say no to fear and worry. There was much to fear and fret about in this past year, from bad health, low finances, relationship problems, job issues, world-wide calamities… oh, what a list there was! But, God is bigger than all of them. That isn’t God’s list. His list is bigger and better and longer lasting than any of our fears. Please believe that.

1. Jesus still matters the most. His purposes become your purposes. His opinions count more than your preferences. His world is more important than your “me world”. All things are insignificant compared to knowing Him and pressing on toward the call of God in Christ Jesus (as Paul would say). He must increase, we must decrease (as John would say). It isn’t about you or me. Jesus is the all in all, this year, next year, and forever.

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Andy Richardson

pastor, business owner, contractor, sports fan, and freelance writer