“Experience is a teacher, not the best one, and the tuition is high.”
Many people will agree with the experience is the best teacher quote without knowing the entire phrase. The Norwegian Proverb actually says, “Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is high.” I agree, the tuition is high but experience is not the best teacher. For instance, as a child, I learned not to lie by lying. That lie cost me a very sore bottom. I learned obedience by being disobedient and again it cost me a sore backside; as you can see I needed lots of instruction. But God doesn’t intend for His children to learn through experience.
The Bible is a book of prevention; if one is willing to listen. God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit so they would not die (Gen. 2:15-17). Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery,fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,envy, murders,drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Here, God tells us plainly that we cannot go to Heaven engaging in these acts.
God affords us unlimited opportunities to repent and come back to Him but sometimes the consequences of our actions prevent us from utilizing those chances. Nadab and Abihu were priests and sons of Aaron. They’d seen the proper ways to offer sacrifices and work in the tabernacle many times, but in Lev. 20 they took matters into their own hands. They offered profane fire to the Lord, fire which He did not authorize. They didn’t get another chance to correct their actions because God sent fire to devour them. For these young priests experience taught them a fatal lesson.
While God won’t send fire to destroy us today when we sin, we need to learn His word so that we can save ourselves the extremely high costs of learning from experience. The costs could be anything from shame, disease, a marred reputation or even death. Experience is not the best teacher, God’s word is and if we’d trust that He knows what’s best for us we could save ourselves a lot of heartache and stick around to make use of those innumerable chances He offers. What lesson can God’s word help you learn in order to avoid experience’s costs?
In Christ, Steve Preston
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