I have always heard that “experience is the BEST teacher.” Hmmm… why is that so?
Why does it have to the BEST? Why can’t it just be a GREAT teacher?
I have been pondering James 1:4 – “testing of your faith” for a week now.
Experience is practice, hands-on knowledge. How can your FAITH grow without the exercise of the experience? How can your FAITH be established unless there is the process of testing it?
Some knowledge of God’s character can only be possessed by experiencing the incidences to learn it.
So in my ponder mode I think about the parts of God’s character that I believe in. I am amazed by how many delightful areas of my FAITH are there not because somebody told me, but because I was given the opportunity to experience it for myself. Often it is the pain that helps me to remember.
- Had I never sinned, then I wouldn’t know the freedom that comes from forgiveness.
- If I had never been foolish in my decisions, I wouldn’t know that God has grace for the feeble ones.
- Had I never been sick, I wouldn’t know the warmth of healing.
- If my heart had never been broken, then I wouldn’t know the comfort that comes from the arms of my Heavenly Father.
- Had I never been gossiped and lied about, I would never know the Defender of my name.
- If I had never been misunderstood, I would never know how much God has been misunderstood – for His leadership, His character, His motives.
My list could go on forever… for I have had lots of opportunities to learn from experience. I will not lie, I do enjoy an occasional free-bee to learn from someone else’s growing opportunity, but I pray that I do not miss the lesson that experience has brought my way….so I “get to” experience the opportunity again.
But, know what is so real to me, is that the “testing” or “perfecting” of my FAITH comes for the purpose of knowing God for myself and as a responsibility to treat others in a way that reflects Him.
- I can forgive because I was forgiven.
- I can give mercy because I received mercy.
- I can try to understand others because I was misunderstood.
- I can give others space for their issues because He gives me space for my unredeemed soul.
So what do you think about the teacher called, “Experience?”