Learning by experience
Life, they say is a school and we all are students. The school of life is a severe one, the discipline is hard, and the process most of the time is tedious. No doubt, there are many subjects to learn and many teachers and assistant teachers to teach. One of those teachers is experience. Laban, the father in law of Jacob revealed this truth when he declared to Jacob that he had learned by experience two main things in our passage. (vs27) The two things are that God had blessed him and that it was because of Jacob.
There are many profitable lessons to be learned by experience. We are very unapt scholars if we have not learned by experience the evil of sin, the treachery of our own hearts, the vanity of the world, the goodness of God, the gains of godliness, and so on. The big question today is what have you learned or what are you learning by experience? Learning by experience could be palatable when it is positive. But also, we need to learn by experience in the negative to avoid more calamities. Learning by experience helps us to make right judgements and take right actions.
(A) Two Separate Examples:
In the Bible, there are more people who profited from their experience. Potiphar saw that the Lord blessed him because of Joseph so he gave him more room to operate to increase his blessing. (Gen. 39:2-5) On the other hand, both Pharaoh of Egypt and Abimelech of Gerah were saved from more calamities because they learned by experience. (Gen. 12:17-20, 20:2-7) Unfortunately today, many people do not learn from experience as they continue to fall into the same trap. Many are the calamities that would have been avoided if men are apt to learn from experience.
(B) The Three Angles
There are three angles we all must learn from experience. These are,
If we are observant, there are lessons to learn about ourselves. This might be in terms of blunders we have made, the falls we have suffered, the injuries we have sustained, the sins we have committed, and the wrongs we have inflicted on ourselves and others. Definitely, God has enlightened us in the knowledge of ourselves and made us feel that it is not right to fall into same traps all the time.
2. The World And Other Creations
Many times, we need to learn from our relationships with others. There are people who have made life miserable for us that we need not give them another opportunity to do same. Being sensitive is crucial in this area to learn from experience. If you have walked a particular road five times and it didn’t profit you, why must you go the sixth time unless God commanded you to ply same road or there is no other road to ply. There are counsellors you need to stop listening to if you truly learn by experience.
3. God, The Creator
The experience of the lapse of years teaches us more and more of God as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have increasing proofs of God’s wisdom and God’s faithfulness. As for me, I have learned by experience that if I give God the first place in my choices, he will definitely sort things out for me. I have learned from experience that when I make his will my choice, He will pay my bills and turn my ills to thrills and frills. By experience, I have learned that the Lord is faithful. I have learned by experience to give to God as He stirs my heart for He will always sort me out in a greater way. Therefore, my giving is not a function of my salary, but a function of divine leadership and prompting of the Holy Spirit. The testimony of experience is a fortress which is utterly impregnable. I have learned by experience the unending love of God, the compassion of God, the goodness of Jehovah and the sustaining power of God’s grace.
Learning by experience is one of the best ways of learning if not the best. Experience they say is the best teacher. It would be well if we always remembered and adhered to what we have thus learned. But unfortunately we are too apt to forget or neglect our lessons. To learn by experience requires the need to be sensitive and carefully observe life, events, things and persons.
Who are you helping or a blessing that is making God to bless you? What are you doing for God that is making God to lift you?
On the other hand, who do you vilify that makes bad things to happen to you? Who do you associate with that causes you misfortune and setbacks? What meetings do you attend and you realize things turn negative for you? Don’t continue to fall for the same traps. May God give you the grace to be spiritually sensitive, careful observation and the will power to learn by experience. I see you ending this year in a better way. Amen. Shalom.
• Rev. Dr Israel Kristilere. Shepherdhill Baptist Church, (Sanctuary of Grace & Glory) Baptist Academy Compound, Obanikoro, Lagos. Whatsapp:2348033052590. Email:email@example.com
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