©Joy Dunlap https://joydunlap.com
Do you remember your graduation speaker? Can you recall anything specific that was said? Recently I asked some friends if anyone remembered the keynoter at their graduation. Only one out of seven did and that was because their speaker was nationally famous.
That got me to thinking…what suggestions would I want to share with graduates today?
- Seek Truth in all things.
- Be true to God first and then to yourself.
- Follow the teachings of Christ and not the crowd.
- Be passionate about what you pursue… and pursue your passion.
- Carry your values with you, and don’t hand them over or hide them to accomplish a goal.
- Forgive yourself – and forgive others.
- Give generously of your time and resources to those less fortunate.
- Look for the “Wonder” in every day.
- Listen to the guidance of God. Listen to the advice of those who love you. Listen to the stories of those you are trying to understand.
- Set goals higher than you can immediately see, so you will recognize God’s hand when they happen.
- Stay humble.
- Keep learning – every day.
- Give credit whenever it’s due.
- Know what you believe and why you believe it – and Who you believe in.
- Exercise your mind and your body. Stretch your heart and your emotions.
- Laugh often.
- Love much.
What would Jesus say if He were giving a graduation speech today? While I certainly don’t presume to know exactly what words He would use, let’s look a few of the messages Christ has on the record.
Have Integrity/Keep Your Word
“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No; anything beyond this comes from the Evil One.” Matthew 5:37 NIV
Pray for Your Enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44 NIV
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?… Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6: 25, 27 NIV
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2 NIV
Act Kindly and Fairly
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 8:12 NIV
Beware of Where You Seek Truth and Who You Believe
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15 NIV
Guard against Despair and Bad Choices
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighted down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly, like a trap. Luke 21: 34 NIV
Remember Your Words Reveal Your Heart (and so do theirs)
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 NIV
Love God/Love Others
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And, the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hand on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 NIV
Be at Peace
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14: 27 NIV
“In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
What do you remember about your graduation speech?
What elements of a speech or sermon you’ve heard impacted you?
What hindsight advice would you give to yourself if you were just graduating from college?
What advice from Jesus resonates most with you?
Life is Better When It’s Full – Joy-full, Thank-full, Purpose-full and Friend-full! ™