EXPERIENCE IS THE BEST TEACHER??
And this cliché has been on for long as I remember but thinking through it recently leaves me with reasons why this isn’t always true. While this holds sometimes with its benefits, would want to weigh more on the other extremes which we sometimes don’t consider.
1) You may not live to tell the experience: As ugly as this looks or sound, it’s the absolute truth! . One who’s having an abortion for the first time might lose her life and the other who’s mastered it continues to live. Another who is always calm and gets angry in a moment stabbing another gets jailed for life. Life sometimes just has a way of infusing its unbalanced schemes.
Ananias and Sapphira never had an inkling they were going to be lost forever with their experience; Samson never thought so too. Same with Judas Iscariot. It will leave you to agree that some things are better not experienced as one might not live to tell the story!
2) Experiences are relative: Oftentimes we are tempted to use our experiences as a tool to judging or appraising others but let’s be reminded that our experiences sometimes won’t absolutely fit into their reality. We are always admonished to learn from the experience of others which isn’t absolutely bad but we should take into consideration that the objects, subjects, temperaments, conditions surrounding every experience will sometimes be different so using a past experience doesn’t always suffice.
3) Experiences are dynamic: Experience is a function of time hence your experience 5, 10 years ago might not fit into the reality of today. This is why learning is continuous and sometimes we’d need to unlearn and give way to learn something new. A surgeon who glories in his past experiences will not get to learn new techniques of operating and definitely with time will become obsolete. I also think this should influence the decision of labor creators to be open, considerate and flexible with churning out time frames to their employees. Someone who has 2 years experience might be a better fit for a job position than someone who has 10 years experience; A reason why other factors should come to play not merely the years of experience.
4)Principles and laws: There are natural laws and principles that are bound to happen and the onus lies in our hands to recognize and work by them without necessarily experiencing them first hand.
Do I have to put my hands in fire before I know it will burn?
Do I need to be pricked by a needle before I know I stand the risk of being infected?
This is to floor the school of thought that permits consummation before marriage so you can gain experience. I remember a guy who told me in secondary school that if I don’t engage in premarital sex I wouldn’t know what to do in marriage. Foolish lies the society feeds us! Our natural human instinct and the law of attraction will teach us what to do when the time is right and we are in there and at such there is no need for prior experience.
So what exactly or who exactly should we learn from you’re probably asking.
JOHN 14:26 AMPLIFIED VERSION
26 But the a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will help you remember everything that I have told you.
Who is the best Teacher? The Holy Spirit!
Does The Bible then absolutely Invalidates our experiences? NO
EPHESIANS 5:10 AMPLIFIED VERSION
trying to learn [by experience] what is pleasing to the Lord [and letting your lifestyles be examples of what is most acceptable to Him—your behavior expressing gratitude to God for your salvation].
As Christians, we understand that our experiences whether good or bad, is a conduit, an opportunity and a part of our life that the Holy Spirit uses to conform us to the image of God.
Just as our temperament isn’t the best fix, so also our experiences.
So therefore our experiences isn’t the gospel, it isn’t a yard stick, it isn’t a spring board if not, we risk the complexities of fusing and bringing in different experiences as a template and that will inevitably bring chaos!
Your experience is personal to you and you alone and should be left at that if not we idolize our experiences and when we don’t measure up to God’s standard, in no time we try to make the scriptures fallible.
So “Experience is the best teacher” is a statement which will not be always true.
Paul The Apostle drives this lesson as he was never married but wrote all the Biblical injunctions about marriage as inspired by God.
You see things differently? Let’s talk in the comments.
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