Musings: Is Experience Really the Best Teacher?

You know how they say experience is the best teacher, right? And you know how sometimes we go through things and in trying to understand why, the only logical reason we can come up with is that maybe God wanted us to learn from this for the sake of others in the future? But I was just thinking, do we really have to learn from things like that? Would God put us through those situations MAINLY to be able to offer advise or help to others who go through stuff like that in the future? Would that really be the ultimate reason?

I know what Romans 8:28 says, but isn't  that scripture more like a case of 'in spite of' rather than 'because of'? I mean, doesn't that scripture imply that despite what happens, since we love God, it will be for our good. From that verse, the meaning I get is that even though the situation or the occurrence may not be His perfect will, but because we love God, He would make it work together for our good. In other words, it will be used to our own advantage, despite it not being His perfect will. Make sense? Okay, let me give an example. You had a loved one who had a terminal disease and you prayed, believed and trusted in God for his/her healing, but the person still died. Years down the line, you start to meet people who have lost loved ones to the same disease and some have even lost their faith as a result. For each person, you are able to successfully encourage them and uplift them. As a result of these 'success stories', you start to think that maybe God allowed you to go through that experience because of all these people you're now encouraging and ministering to. But my question is, would God really have to let that person die just so you can have that personal experience and subsequently help others going through it as well? Do we have to have such personal experiences before we can identify with the pains and sufferings of others?

Okay, let's take a look at Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 says He identifies with our weaknesses/infirmities, but when He was on earth, did He personally go through all of the things we go through? Did He fall sick? Did He lose a family member? Did He have family members with terminal illnesses? But yet, the bible says He understands and identifies with these things. In the Amplified version, it says He has a 'shared feeling' with our weaknesses and infirmities. In other Words, He feels these things (exactly as we feel them), but from His time here on earth, as bible records show, He did not personally go through ALL these things.

Several times in the bible, we see how Jesus was moved with compassion and carried out several miracles because of it. So shouldn't we as Christians (like Christ) be able to understand and identify with the sufferings of others without necessarily going through it personally. I mean, it might not come naturally, but can't we pray that God helps us feel people's pains and sufferings (not personally, but as they feel it), so that we can be moved with compassion as well and subsequently do something about it? For instance, from time to time, I usually pray that God breaks my heart for the things that breaks His. This isn't just about things I do that may break His heart, but more so things that others do.

To wrap this up, here's a personal experience I had recently. I found myself crying (almost wailing..lol) about young people and how far away they had gone from God. It really, really hurt me and made me very sad and it somehow gave me a glimpse of how unhappy God is about it  as well. Although, I'm pretty sure that how I felt is not even one tenth of how God feels. So if I could share in God's feeling about how far away young people are from God, could I not also feel what people feel when they lose someone or say suffer a heart break, without having to go through these things personally? Is experience really the best teacher or should I say better teacher? What do you think? I really want to hear from you.


P.S.- I feel like I was rambling a lot in this post and I'm not even sure I've been able to communicate properly and put my thoughts into words accurately. Anyway, I'll let you be the judge of that.



xx
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7 comments:

  1. ah, this is a difficult one. But I think that what best explains this is that we really can't question God. More so, his ways are not our ways. There are so many things that are unfathomable; the more you think about them, the bigger a conundrum they become. I also think that sometimes, it's probably not about the person going through that hard period. I have also learnt that in many cases, what we humanly see is only a fraction—a tiny fraction—of the whole picture. We are missing the whole picture and because of that we are confused. I think my biggest challenge spiritually is understanding why God would tell us to ask whatever we want yet we are supposed to just accept whatever his will his. Like why bother praying/asking for something if he's going to eventually do his will anyway? Do you get? I have found many answers to that. I remember Pastor Poju said, the key is praying according to God's will for your life. Which of course brings forth another question, HOW do you know his will for you? I have also realized and stuck with this next answer which is that more than anything, prayer establishes that we depend on God. It establishes trust and fosters a communication/relationship with God. Even with some of these answers I get really confused but I try to take it one moment at a time and most importantly pray for understanding of these. I know I didn't answer your question, lol but this is my 2 cents. Hehe. #LongCommentAlert.

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  2. I get your point and I agree that we don't have to go through painful experiences just so we can empathise with others but I really do wish people can ask God to give them the ability to understand what people are going through before rushing in and making thoughtless comments about what they nothing about.
    Well done, good write up. Keep 'em coming.

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  3. I totally agree but yet lets not forget some situations have been preordained, just like Judas I. had been preordained despite being a follower of christ. God could have waiver it but that aspect of Jesus Christ was required just the same way some situation occurs. we should rather state with unwavering faith that Lord let your prescence continually be with me despite the situation. Nice write up Tomi...keep it up!x

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  4. I thought you might be interested in this, http://eziaha.com/2014/06/17/a-great-cloud-of-witnesses/#comment-7128 As I was reading it, your post came to my mind. Just like you said, perhaps, we go through some challenges so that we can be helpful to others. Perhaps not? It's possible it really is just about the glory of God.

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  5. Goshhhh,I luv ur blog,been searchin lyk 4eva for christian blogs,tank God I stumbled on ur blog,God sure knws I needed smtyn real,God bless U

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  6. @Ife, yea long comment indeed, lol, but I'm not complaining at all. But you are absolutely right, it's not always about the person that is affected and what we see is only a fraction of the full picture. I'll have a look at the link. Thank you!
    @Osarugue, thank you very much for reading. And yes, people (myself included) really need to take a step back sometimes and understand what people are going through first before making comments or passing judgement (I had to repent of this recently).
    @Anonymous, thank you for your comment. I beg to disagree a little about Judas being preordained (but we can talk about that later on :) But you make a very valid point about just praying for His presence to be with us always, regardless of the situation. He has already promised us that anyway (Hebrews 13:5)
    @Abarosi, thank you very much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I'm glad you found my blog and I pray it continues to be a blessing to you. Please don't hesitate to share it with your friends and family as well :)

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  7. Ehhhhmmm. I feel that the things we go through in life are all pre destined. You know? like we are all living this game of chess being played between GOD and the devil, and just like in chess, every move determines the next. Only thing is that GOD knows the next move, while the devil only tries to tempt us to get into the wrong tiles on the chess board.

    I have little experience yeah, but I am a strong believer in the fact that our lives are not ours, so every pain, experience, success or thing we go through in life, is to make the life of another better. Like a chain of slaves, where the liberation of one should help another to be set free.

    P.S: Pardon me if I a blabbing oh, I hardly comment on religious posts, but having that you and 1+ The One are turning me into a pastor small small, I thought to try out my preaching skills :) I do hope my comment has meaning sha. Cheers, and abeg keep up this great work. #Udo

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