Mike Panella is an experienced attorney and the Owner of Panella Law Firm. The team at Panella Law Firm prides themselves on getting great results for clients, specializing in criminal defense, family law, injunctions, traffic, and personal injury matters. Before opening Panella Law Firm, Mike served as an Assistant Public Defender for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office and worked hundreds of cases in both Brevard and Seminole Counties.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Mike Panella shares why he began a career in law
- Why attorneys need to have empathy
- Mike describes how to avoid burnout
- The pivotal moments in Mike’s career
- Mike talks about cases he’s worked on
- The importance of perspective when dealing with life-altering events
In this episode…
No matter what industry you’re in, you need balance in your life. But how can you create rituals to foster balance and avoid burnout?
Mike Panella says you need rituals to center yourself before jumping into work. Taking time each day to reflect inward can help you focus your perspective, create powerful days, and service your clients in the best way possible. So before you open your email, hop into a meeting, or check your phone, take time to do something that will fulfill you.
In this episode of 15 Minutes, Michael Renfro sits down with Mike Panella, Owner of Panella Law Firm, to talk about pivotal moments throughout his career and his advice to avoid burnout. Mike discusses why he became an attorney, why it’s essential to maintain perspective while caring about your clients, and how a bad situation or life event can positively affect you in the long run.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Michael Renfro on LinkedIn
- Gladiator Law Marketing
- Mike Panella on LinkedIn
- Panella Law Firm
- Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
- The Ramsey Show
- National Trial Lawyers Summit
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential.
To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition.
You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t.
Michael Renfro 0:10
Hello everyone, Michael Renfro here, I’m the host of 15 Minutes where we talk with top notch law firms and lawyers about what it takes to grow a successful law firm, law practice whatever you would like to call it. We are brought to you by the episode in every episode is gonna be brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential to have a successful Marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI. Your firm really needs to have guaranteed almost always a better website and better content than the competitor. And Gladiator Law Marketing. We use artificial intelligence as well as machine learning and decades of experience, to outperform the competition. To learn more, if you’re interested, please go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com or schedule a free us, excuse me, where you can schedule a free consultation. Or you can reach out to me directly Michael Michael@gladiatorlawmarketing.com. And I can schedule it for you. Anyway. So let’s get right into it. Today’s guest is quite an accomplished criminal defense attorney in Orlando. He’s actually been a guest on a previous show that we did. And quite frankly, I always love talking to him. And I won’t give a whole lot more gloating, other than to say, Mike Panella It is a pleasure to have you back on our new show and help us kick this one off. And as usual, always love having you, man. Thanks, Michael.
Mike Panella 1:40
Glad to be here.
Michael Renfro 1:41
Thank you, sir. So funny that we have the same first name. Just on a side note. Have you ever been with me? I have become friends with so many more Michaels than other names. Has that been the case for you? Have you found that to be easier? Just right off the bat. If you taught someone you say
Mike Panella 1:55
it’s funny that we have the same name, I think it’s like one out of every three men that are 30 years or older have this name. So yeah,
Michael Renfro 2:03
no, absolutely. Which is why I think I’ve always, you know, we had the number one name for like 40 something years running, literally.
Mike Panella 2:10
And I’m just excited about the fact that that doesn’t exist anymore. My kids are in a class without any Michaels. Oh, I feel like I was the creative one to name them. David and John. So all of a sudden, I’m the unique one.
Michael Renfro 2:23
Yeah, well, you know, you’ve already heard mine but mine went I went even further to make sure that they were I didn’t want to carry on any of the tradition of Michael or any of the past Renfro names, quite frankly. So they got forest Schuyler River and fire. So they all still
Mike Panella 2:37
stand. And incidentally, there’s four kids in my, my oldest son’s class, and those are their names. So
Michael Renfro 2:44
but he’s the only David, that that’s awesome. And you know, you mentioned the school thing. On a side note, yeah, I growing up, there was a minimum of at least two of us in every single class and I maxed out to one class had five Michaels in it. Five, that one class, ridiculous, ridiculous. I mean, it was a class of 34 but you’re still talking about a significant percentage of the population and same first name. So anyway, we’re gonna get we’re gonna get right into it. The bottom
Mike Panella 3:11
we were already not right into it. When something is the best. It works.
Michael Renfro 3:16
Oh, yeah, bad. I absolutely. I love it. Nice. Nice, nice hit for us. Especially with the day when and you know, it’s funny, because I’ve gone by Michael Mikey, Mike MC, Mitch, even making, I mean, just about every, you know, form and fashion. And now I’m back to just going by Michael or Mike, you know, one of the other that’s the, the two that I’ve come down to So, Nikki? Yeah. Well, you know, I tried to defy all the, you know, tried to get as far away from Michael, as I could, you know, and then my father called me, Mike. Quite frankly, between you and me, I couldn’t stand being called Mikey. Now by the time I got to be in my 20s and was going by MC for someone to call me and Mickey. Considering my past, it kind of felt perfect at the time. Yeah. All right. So I have Scotch Irish me. So moving on, let’s get right into it. Obviously, we want to, we want to showcase a little bit. So we’re going to do a little interview here of you. And I’ll just get right into it. So how did you get started, like
Mike Panella 4:10
my parents, you know, I attributed to this when I was 12 my parents through a pretty nasty divorce and it lasted for, you know, four years and whatnot. And I just the way that I perceived that as a young kid was that my mom was just getting screwed. And she was in a lot of pain. And I just remember feeling as a as a kid, I want to do whatever I can to help this and then to stop this pain, right? So I, I devoted my life to becoming an attorney at like a really young age, to be able to hopefully, be a voice for people like her in the future. And so that’s what set me on that path. And I just sort of, I just kept going on on that until this moment. You know,
Michael Renfro 4:59
it’s fun. And I say this because obviously, work with nothing but attorneys. But more often than not, it’s almost always a story particularly, particularly with criminal defense, and ends up being a story where someone saw too much in injustice going on and felt that they needed to learn what it took to fight for justice, quite frankly, on you know, I know for you it was family, obviously. And I know you also don’t you do some family and take those cases?
Mike Panella 5:28
Yeah, our main practice areas are criminal defense and family, I say criminal family and her friends. So they intersect so often, you know, I mean, violence and injunctions and all kinds of
Michael Renfro 5:39
things. Yeah, no, I don’t like that. But quite frankly, if I was living in Florida, and I, you know, now that I know you and I get hit by a car, I’d probably come to you just because I think you would fight harder than anybody I knew your friend. You know, you might not know about it. But I would I would definitely, you’re the kind of guy that I would put almost any trust in. And I say that this is not just a, you know, a pump up for Mike, we have become absolutely close friends. I’ll say this, because I don’t know if it’s been said before on. Well, I know it hasn’t on this show. But when Mike came on board, came on board, like one o’clock in the morning or something like that, his time over a couple of drinks and us finally being able to get together because he’s so damn busy. Having said that, we have become close friends. And I know that you are, you know, a spectacular attorney. And I would always come up. I’ve already come to you how many times for advice at least twice in the last two years?
Mike Panella 6:29
I appreciate that man. You know, what’s funny about justice, right? Is it is a weird thing. Because what’s what is justice for one person, right is absolutely absolutely horrifying for another in the same business
Michael Renfro 6:45
that karma isn’t I mean, that’s the ying and the yang of that, if you’re, you know, and I’m not saying that anybody is necessarily being on, you know, being served in just on that side, and I know they feel it, we like to think of it that most of the time, we believe the case comes out the way it’s supposed to, right. But that means there’s always a loser. And every single case, every time you go in front of a judge, even if you don’t get to the judge, every time you have a case, there’s two sides, and that means that somebody is going to lose and feel like they lost out on what they know even if it’s stupid stuff like personal injury, you know that that insurance guy, what are they called? You know, I’m talking about for the insurance companies, the investigator, but they have a name for it. Yeah, the adjuster, guaranteed when he loses, he feels slighted personally, it’s his job. Right.
Mike Panella 7:33
I just I just think that in some cases, it’s pretty clear. Oh, absolutely. I’m just getting railroaded. And in others, it’s a little bit more grad. And it
Michael Renfro 7:43
doesn’t mean they don’t feel as though. Yeah, that’s all. That’s all I was saying. Even in the ones. No, I completely agree with you. I was adding is that even the ones that feel like, you know, you and I and everybody else unless they just easily 99.9% of the world would go Yeah, that’s clearly they’re, you know, the decision is is right, the person that’s losing never feels that way, regardless, especially the attorney on the other side. Let me just say that, because they always have another one of you guys on the other side fighting, right? Not always. Well, no, that’s true. Yes, I guess not always. So where did you get the idea? I guess that really kind of answers that where you got the idea of becoming an attorney? Or does that does that? I mean, that’s where it started. But where did you technically,
Mike Panella 8:25
I mean, that was it. And from there, I was just sort of off to the races. It just got ingrained in my brain that this nobody, nobody said it to you just thought came it just felt and for better or for worse, and whatever that ended up meeting for me in my life, I just felt very strongly and very passionate about the situation that I perceived, my family to be in. And that was there was just no question that that’s what I was going to do. Like, all the way through middle school in high school, that was the goal every
Michael Renfro 8:56
you know, shit you really knew that you from I mean, like most people, I just say that because let’s face it, most people get out of college and even with a degree, and they haven’t figured out what they’re going to do with their lives, would you you know, you’ve lived long enough and seen a lot of your friends would you agree with that a lot of people get out of college and still don’t know what they’re gonna do. And you
Mike Panella 9:16
have friends that got out of law school and didn’t know what they were. But you you literally knew by middle school before you get Yeah, and I think that’s I think that’s also okay. It’s a lot of drive. I it is it can also be a lot of pressure that you know, you put a
Michael Renfro 9:29
lot of pressure on yourself because of that, like the whole time. Yeah. Oh, yeah.
Mike Panella 9:33
Because you got to think about it like this like living up to an expectation of somehow being able to fix something that I can’t fix. Because what happened in the past happened,
Michael Renfro 9:42
right? You can’t like obviously you got into it because of that but you can’t go back and make it right what happened to your mother
Mike Panella 9:47
now? Yeah, so it’s but but but, but the drive to to somehow do whatever I could, you know, to make it right, even if that’s helping other people Bull or being, you know, pursuing this field or whatever it was? Yeah, I mean, that’s a pretty heavy burden to carry. Oh, I
Michael Renfro 10:07
mean, it is starting at 12. Yeah. I mean,
Mike Panella 10:11
I know that we’re that I, full disclosure, I looked at your questions ahead of time. So I know, of course, I’ll just get to it now, because you’re some of the other questions.
Michael Renfro 10:21
I was about to lead into what why don’t you go ahead and tell me how did that play into the early days,
Mike Panella 10:25
I just think that what what happens a lot of times, for, at least for me, and for some of my friends, and whatever, people that choose this profession, especially in the field of criminal defense, where it’s like, you’re the only, you’re the only thing that person has a, you’re their last line of defense from going for doing doing time with you, and you’re up here, you know, doing everything you can to defend them against the wheels of a governmental entity, you know, whatever the situation is where, you know, whether it’s a state case, a federal case, even if it’s an administrative thing, whatever. And, you know, and that’s an incredible responsibility. And when it’s a family law case, and like I was yesterday, I was in extremely heavy family law letting litigation with somebody, I represent the father who has the legal right doors,
Michael Renfro 11:21
I’m assuming or custody, custody. It’s a it’s a, it’s
Mike Panella 11:25
the divorces long since happen. But his, you know, basically, the mother of the child has taken the child and taken her and hidden her for 20 months, even though my guy has told the child eight now, six months, so
Michael Renfro 11:42
he’s taken, he’s missed. You said 20 months. So he’s possibly miss guaranteed one, maybe two birthdays already?
Mike Panella 11:49
Yeah, it’s any any actually as the legal the severe legal position. It’s just the way it was done. So you better believe that’s the most important thing to his life. I say I say all this to say that I think that if you’re going to do a good job in this job, then you need to take it seriously. And you need to empathize with how serious these situations are for your clients. But if you don’t have balance in your own life as an attorney, in a way to sort of, you know, right, in some ways, yeah. You know, then I think it can become extraordinarily overwhelming. And you experienced burnout.
Michael Renfro 12:24
Yeah, let me I want to actually, it’s not one of our plan questions. So hope you don’t mind if I go off script, just because it brings to light something that I think about. And I say this, because there’s, you know, we so here’s a little bit of a segue, but it’s the reality of it. You know, Google looks at you guys. And I’m talking about attorneys and lawyers, that is clearly different than even any they put you in the same group as like doctors, and accountants. You know, guys that do, what does it financial guys, you know, brokers and that kind of thing. They put you on that same thing, because there’s that acronym, I think I even told you about it your life, your money, right? And the funny thing is, Google only mentioned you guys. So I say that, because it’s obviously you know, how much effect you have on someone’s life, and in particularly many times their money, because let’s face it, even if it’s a crime, they’re going to end up doing lots of financial restitution, if they do time at all, there’s right there’s going to be probation, there’s going to be other things, whatever. There’s typically fines involved. Proposition. Yeah, yeah. So your money your life, when you have that kind of pressure, because you know, psychiatrists, those are doctors and therapists during those same, they all have heavy burnout. And what I mean by that is, it doesn’t take long that you can meet a doctor, and you can tell he’s burned out. Yeah, he’s still practicing. But he’s lost that human touch. Right? He’s so burned out that he has any so far removed, that this is a job, and there’s no more humanity in it. I bet you see that as often. And I mean, I know you work with a tonne of attorneys. So I’m not asking you to point anyone out. But I bet you see that in your own in your own world a lot where, you know, guys, it’s just a job for them at this point. And there’s no more, you know, the fight isn’t isn’t the same as when they were 25.
Mike Panella 14:10
Here’s why I’m saying it’s really important as an attorney to or really so many professions, I don’t really care what you’re doing. But if you’re in the people, if you’re in a people serving professionals, where it matters, then if you don’t have your, you know, life in order to serve your clients, well. It’s just you’re not going to be doing as effective of a job as you could because either Yeah, you’re going to be too invested. And you you can’t think objectively about it, but it’s a problem for a lawyer or you’re not going to care.
Michael Renfro 14:44
And it’s gonna suck totally remove yourself. So
Mike Panella 14:47
a friend of mine says this is especially for criminal defense attorneys and I’m gonna butcher a quote but it’s something this there’s two times in a person’s in a criminal offense attorneys life and they should quit. One is when they’re sick. Sitting next to their client, and he’s sentenced to prison. And it’s so overwhelming for the lawyer that they can’t be you know that it takes an extraordinary emotional, physical toll, right
Michael Renfro 15:10
that they take. They take a big hit for personally,
Mike Panella 15:14
for the exact same thing. And the lawyer doesn’t care. So there’s
Michael Renfro 15:18
so literally now your attorney should outline that you have to skate though in order to be an effective attorney.
Mike Panella 15:29
Yeah, it is. And that’s it. And I’m, I’m just telling you, I think that that comes from experiencing burnout. Unless you just never cared in the first place. I think there’s many attorneys that just aren’t that good. I seen that like, a lot. Well, I
Michael Renfro 15:45
mean, come on, dude, I again, I’m not gonna call any anything out. But I mean, obviously, we know that there’s, you can see it, you can see it in life. I mean, I’ve had to use every kind of attorney there is legitimately except for an elder, attorney. And what I mean by that is, you know, I’m not I’m not elderly, and I haven’t had to deal with anything in that form. But business tax, personal injury, criminal, defense, family bankruptcy, I’ve literally dealt with all those, those cats. And every single practice area you can meet, you know, I mean, I do an interview process just like anybody else, right. So when I’m looking for an attorney, I’m not talking to just one guy, or one lady, I’m talking to multiple people and getting opinions and you can tell the ones that still have enough vested that they they care, they don’t not care, right. But they also understand that they have, you know, 2535, maybe even 100 more clients that they also have to care about plus their own family, their own lives. And you can you know, when you’re interviewing you, you tend to look for those, at least I, which kind of, you know, gives me an opportunity to go back into the next question just to move us forward, because it was only supposed to be 15 minutes, but I could talk to you forever, biggest turning points in your career. So point if there was one?
Mike Panella 16:55
Well, when I was in law school, the Trayvon Martin george Zimmerman case happened, that shooting took place, and Trayvon was unfortunately killed. Right. And I, again, had been at that point, I’d already been working at a prestigious criminal defense law firm.
Michael Renfro 17:14
So you’re welcome to school well, through well through your app, you were no longer wet behind the ears, let’s just say,
Mike Panella 17:19
Well, I was new, I was a law student, but I was I was lucky enough to get a pretty great position that I respected defense firm. And this thing happened. And I knew at that point, I wanted to do criminal defense, all everything that when I was younger, about wanting to be a lawyer, and picking all those passions, my had a criminal in college, by sharing a hall with the federal public defenders and seeing them, like in the garage, and in the, in the hallway, or in the bathroom, I’d ask them, I knew I was gonna be going to law school, and I’d ask them, you know, how do you how do you sleep at night? You know, or I’d say, you know, we’re just I, yeah, alright. These are like, the federal defenders. These are like, as good. I love that. That’s your kid, by the way. I love that. See, that’s a life and balance. You know, or like, I’d ask these defendant forgot
Michael Renfro 18:07
to turn on my on Air sign, like a doofus today. Because normally, they would know, you know, I have a little Dion side,
Mike Panella 18:15
I’d ask these guys like, you know, would you still defend him if he knew he was guilty, you know, or whatever. And it’s like, these are like the best, like some of the best attorneys in the country, you know, federal system, defending indigent people that really need help. And it was through conversations with two of these guys, a guy named Don West, and a guy named James Smith. And they both sort of like talk to me, and explained what criminal attorneys do. Like it was a concept that just didn’t understand both
Michael Renfro 18:42
sides. Obviously, not just one. But what a No,
Mike Panella 18:45
I don’t care about the other side. I’m talking about criminal defense attorneys. And the one
Michael Renfro 18:49
I only say that only I’d say, I only say that because I know a lot of criminal guys come from working in the DEA first.
Mike Panella 18:56
Yeah, whatever. I, I didn’t, I didn’t do that. And it’s like, oh, well, if you don’t work at the prosecutor’s office first, are you ever going to be successful? And I don’t
Michael Renfro 19:04
know. I don’t know. Yeah, don’t send me the wrong way at all. Like I don’t die as a prerequisite. I just think a lot of people go that way. And I
Mike Panella 19:11
think it’s smart. I think it’s good. I have a lot of respect for prosecutors. I’m just saying that wasn’t in these conversations. That was when I was talking about okay, my bad. They were explaining what a criminal defense attorney does just purely understand. That’s all when you said I didn’t I don’t I apologize I don’t think I heard defense. I
Michael Renfro 19:29
think I just heard you say criminal so I was thinking you remaining Did I did I did say criminal that’s why and I apologize I got confused because I was all I was thinking was you were given the balance of you know, understand, but now I understand this was purely
Mike Panella 19:41
Oh, no, I just did I just thought criminal defense attorneys were bad guys. You did really guys and girls because I thought that they were defending bad people always. And so if you’re defending bad people, why would you do that? And it was just covered and I was a genuine thought. I mean, I’m a I’m A Christian, I am serious about my faith. I really thought that somehow even being a defense attorney was unChristian.
Michael Renfro 20:09
Well, movies like Big Chill didn’t help it any right? Do you remember? Do you remember Big Chill the big? She’s like, do you remember she was literally one of the ones we’re talking about, I think she worked in the BAS office for but then went out there to fight and she’s like, I’m not fighting for the righteous. I’m fighting for dirtbags and, and losers that that didn’t help y’all his plight in a back in the day.
Mike Panella 20:29
Luckily, luckily, I have a different opinion. Now. It was from those conversations with those guys back in college. So by the time I was in law school, I was already on the path that Wait, this is what I was talking about this is when I was that 12 year old, like be the voice for the voiceless stand up for the person that truly needs it the most. Right? And and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re saying somebody’s not guilty of something, when they are, although sometimes that’s true.
Michael Renfro 20:56
Well, many times, though, we already know that sometimes your guilt there. It all entails the circumstances and all the facts and all the different things like you might be guilty on one hand, but it might have been a guilt that you had to perform in order to whatever the case may be, especially if it’s like self defense, or is it you know what I’m saying? Like maybe
Mike Panella 21:13
if you understood the entire person and where they were, at the time, perhaps 10 years in prison doesn’t make any sense. Maybe something else does. So anyway, the question was about turning points. I’m just saying, when I was in law school, that case had happened, I was already on the track to want to be doing criminal work, criminal offense work. And I like everybody else was absolutely because I saw the media. I was like, Man, this george Zimmerman, you know, just racist murder kid killer. And I don’t, you know, I was just like, didn’t really want anything to do with it until I saw the main attorney on TV, the first attorney Marco Mara, talking about it. And this was a guy that emulated who I want it to be because I was already doing, you know, wanting to be a criminal offense. And I saw him and it absolutely changed my entire perspective on what actually happened in that case, from Gainesville. Like I was just like, watching TV, and I saw that. So I decided whatever I needed to do, I needed to work on that case.
Michael Renfro 22:20
That’s, that’s cool. That’s cool. I’m gonna I’m gonna ask these next ones just because I know we’re getting along. So big milestone, I think I have a guest on this one. But would your biggest milestone be the case a couple of years ago that changed? Or is there a different one?
Mike Panella 22:34
No, I would say that one I the only reason I went into private I was a public defender for a minute too. And that was my favorite job I ever had. Oh, and the only reason I left that office was to take that case. This is a guy who was a retired GM mechanic that allowed his nice adult nice to live with a forester
Michael Renfro 22:51
for no four offset for us. Thank you
Mike Panella 22:57
DeRossett with a deep roster, the roster the roster and always mangle it. And the bottom line is, I mean, she had some problems and a nobody sort of took her into she had nowhere else to go. Right. And the police decided to sting her on a misdemeanor. Yeah. And my guy was had nothing to do with it was in the back room eating meatloaf when plainclothes officers showed up and basically ripped her out of her house. While she was in she she was screaming, they didn’t have a warrant or anything. You know, so
Michael Renfro 23:34
this just because I know I know this case, that story, please feel free, you know, to look up, do it do a search for Mike Panella. And you can you can find a lot of information. It’s not hard. Literally you were you were in the news. And I’ll just give this kudos to you. But he changed the the the Stand Your Ground. The law, as it sits now is due to Mike and his efforts and his team in that case. So that was an awesome
Mike Panella 24:03
certain aspects of that law were definitely clarified. And what self defense was in the event, I’m
Michael Renfro 24:08
not saying you wrote the whole law, but the way it law sits now you definitely have a, you changed it forever, your your your case, put things in there that are now part of the law. So I think that’s pretty awesome. I would imagine that’s kind of true for our next question. Was that? Is that what gave you the most traction as far as you know, results wise, or was it something else that gave you more traction to get into that business was it was
Mike Panella 24:34
it I took that case pretty much for free? Because the public defender’s office wouldn’t take it. Basically, the uncle comes out Cesar brings Oh, he’s broken by a warning shot thinking that his niece is being kidnapped tragically, they all turn out to be cops and they just shoot them. He shoots back. Everyone survives by the grace of God, but they charged my guy with three counts of attempted first degree premeditated murder of a law enforcement officer all because of a botched thing in the first place. And I took four years, but he’s now been declared immune from prosecution that he acted lawfully that. But but the the thing is we had to step out on faith and open the practice in the first place to take that with like no money. So actually, we had, we had to do a lot of other things in order to get traction, just keep the lights on while we were doing that.
Michael Renfro 25:20
So just a bit, just to be clear from my understanding you already were working that case before I met you. Yeah, that was a case you worked for what two and a half, three years was or four? Okay. Yeah. Cool. Well, let me let me ask you this indirectly that not? I would imagine that you probably had one. And what I mean by that is setbacks are usually, you know, two steps back five steps forward kind of thing, right? So in that way of thinking, what would you what would you say is your biggest pitfall or mistake that gave you the most traction afterwards? You know, what I mean, that you learned the most from if you
Mike Panella 25:55
I ended up having to leave a position that I loved, because of not understanding my place, and my role in that organization. A lot of pride too much, too early. And
Michael Renfro 26:13
they were all like that, brother.
Mike Panella 26:15
I didn’t understand it at the time, because I was guaranteeing a lot of pride and still struggle with that, to some degree, certainly, but I think about it a lot now. Um, and so yeah, I ended up having to change where I was working, and all kinds of things that way. Because I think my attitude wasn’t right. And I think that I thought that I knew Did you know that at the time, or didn’t see that? I really was a reflection hindsight. You know, I really thought that I knew more than I did. I acted in a way that wasn’t humble.
Michael Renfro 26:47
How old? Were you? Just out of curiosity, what age?
Mike Panella 26:49
Right, there’s right out,
Michael Renfro 26:51
you know, a couple years out of law school, mid 20s, late 20s, maybe mid 20s, late 20s, late 20s. All I can say man to that is, God has you mentioned it, and obviously I’ve never had it, but God has a way of if you are of God, right and listening to the signs, then he has a way she whatever has a way of humbling you to bring you back to reality right happened to me around the same time. And I’ve told you that story. But right around 26, I had a huge life altering, you know, life changing event that that was the worst at the time. But then two years later, my twins were born.
Mike Panella 27:29
You know, it’s funny. That’s amazing. And I think that perspective has a lot to do with it, how we react to situations there’s Oh, yeah, there’s certainly been very bad things that have happened in my life due to my own actions and decision poor decisions. Right? Um, and you know, beyond what I’m talking about right now. But what’s interesting, is that you’re right, the Bible says that God disciplines those he loves. And how would
Michael Renfro 27:54
you also say, without the consequences of a bad, you know,
Mike Panella 27:58
it also says, in Romans 828, that we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. And here’s the thing, I think a lot of people get that verse wrong. And they just think everything that happens is somehow God’s will. But that’s not what that verse says. It says that all fake things, even really, really bad things that happen. God can turn that for good. And I they always do.
Michael Renfro 28:20
I know that they always do. I’ve actually had this conversation so many times, it’s, I know, it sounds almost repetitive and preaching. But, you know, one of the greatest moments in my life was shortly after my wife was hit. I just have to share this because you said that, and I had a revelation, if you will, that I could not think of one bad instance, the most horrible times in my life, that were not literally the catalyst to greater events, if they hadn’t happened, then the spectacular things wouldn’t come. And that’s what makes it you know, it’s it’s just how it works. Like, again, I completely repeat it and continue to say it, how could you possibly know a good day if you haven’t experienced the bad? If everything was perfect? Good moments wouldn’t feel that great. Yeah.
Mike Panella 29:06
I think that’s a great perspective to have. I think that there’s a lot of wisdom there. And I think that sometimes really bad things happen. And and it’s, you don’t necessarily see that light at the end of the tunnel you Not at the moment. Honestly, sometimes I think you just don’t, because the person experiencing isn’t willing to be humble and accept consequences and be able to look, you know, I really, like I said, I believe that God is real. And I think that when we trust Him, then He does what He says He will do, and can take a horrible thing and turn it for good. But I don’t I don’t, I don’t think the other
Michael Renfro 29:41
person, the person in you know, the direct individual has to be open to God. I’m dealing with that right now in my life. I won’t go into details but I have someone that just is so closed off to God. They can’t see the good that continues to happen to them. All they’re focused on is the bad. So
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