Summary: Our experiences can be a great teacher if we allow them to be. The question is whether or not we learn from our mistakes or continue to keep making the same ones over and over again.
Thank you to the ate C. M. Ward for his contributions to this message. To God be the glory and may His Word bring forth the results which He has sent if forth to do.
Job 32:6 ,7. "I am young in years and you are very old; therefore I was afraid, and dared not declare my opinion unto you. I said, age (days/years) should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom."
Your life is made up of inventory: some is of countless value; other is made up of wasted days and a fruitless period of time, yet it's there, written down, recorded, waiting to be once again brought to life to be used against you, or to be used in your favor.
Matthew 12:36 (NKJV)
36 But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
Your inventory is made up of your experiences. Good or bad, every experience, every word, every attempt, every success and every failure has been documented.
Experience is your best teacher ... We learn by the things we have done ... by the things we are going to do.
The question is; what has your experiences taught you?
What, if anything,t have you learned?
A. You have learned if you live in the city to get up early to avoid rush hour traffic
B. You have learned where the best restaurants are that serve the best food for the best prices.
C. You've learned to get the front seat of the bus and the back seat of the church.
D. You've learned to keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
These may seem like simple cliches' to some and experiences to others.
- but there is more ... Much more.
E. You've learned that God brings people into your life, some for a season but all for a reason, for each one teaches us something.
1. Experiences teach us that patience really is a virtue and that getting rattled and frazzled over a time delay serves only to make the wait much more miserable.
2. They teach us that using honey to catch flies is much better than using vinegar, or something like that.
And I can tell you that you can save both your honey and your vinegar because if you are talking about flies, attracting them really isn't difficult at all.
Your days speak ....
- your days call out your experiences ...
- you know now the stove is hot because that scar on your hand is a constant reminder.
You relish the days when you had certain experiences ... The day you met a certain friend
... The week you spent laying on the beach on that secluded island, but there is always another side to the coin.
... You cringe to think what might have happened had you married that high school sweetheart who turned out to be everything you didn't need in your life.
Experience has been our teacher.
- our days speak
- a multitude of years have hopefully taught us wisdom.
You think back to the individuals who have contributed to your life ...
- those who taught you a skill that became your livelihood and supported your family over the years.
- that person who encouraged to sing and to use your talents for the Lord.
If multitudes of years have taught us wisdom, then our future should be a little better than our past.
- we know from experience the many pitfalls we should avoid
- those mistakes to avoid again and to not do them over and over.
The late C.M. Ward says that our experiences are a reference library.
- if I find myself heading for a ledge that I have fallen off of more than once, all I have to do is go to my reference library and there it is, written down, recorded to be brought out again one day when I stand before the God of the Ages
- but I can draw from those experiences in the meantime to help me not repeat the same mistake over and over again.
- our experiences should teach us that there is peace and safety in God's house, among God's people, in God's Word.
- likewise, our experiences teach us spending our nights in some sleazy bar, drinking our paycheck away one bottle at a time, putting anything we may have left in those machines in the back room where only other gamblers can watch us - and many who relate to us as we walk out empty-handed wondering how we are going to explain to our spouse that we only intended to have one drink ... That we don't know what happened ... That we'll ask for an advance in next week's pay so the kids will have food for the week.