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Saturday, March 23 , 2019, 7:59 pm | Partly Cloudy 61º


Jim Langley: Experience Isn’t Everything

Over our lifetimes we can certainly gain much experience that can help us walk through the daily travails of life. Often we can call upon certain similar circumstances to make future trials easier as we attempt to overcome challenging life situations.

Since we’ve been there before, we hopefully have a pretty good idea just how we might best address each challenge without putting too much energy into determining the best course of action. We also are less likely to just give up all hope.

I’m certainly glad that I no longer take on these circumstances of life on my own.

These days the Holy Spirit is there to get me through whatever challenges come my way. And I can count upon fellow followers of Christ, whom I know I can trust, to be there by my side as well. You see, they, too, have their personal and business experiences upon which we can draw. Of course, all this needs to be bathed in prayer as we ask for guidance and protection.

Have you ever noticed how many fictional super heroes have a sidekick? Practically speaking, two can often be better than one. Let’s go to the Book of Ecclesiastes to see what King Solomon has to say about going solo in our decisions.

In Ecclesiastes 4:7-8, the writer conveys, “Again I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. ‘For whom am I toiling,’ he asked ‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This, too, is meaningless — a miserable business!”

The writer continues in verses 9 through 11, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can we keep warm alone?”

There’s one thing for certain — in our lives we will have a number of experiences that will shape the way we address future circumstances. What I find intriguing is how we each handle those special moments in different ways.

For instance, childhood experiences can cause us to be quite different in the way we raise our children, yet some of us will become the spitting image of one of our parent’s traits and actions. It’s possible to go through our whole life without ever receiving good instruction in how to live our lives. Yes, there are many “How To” books available on all kinds of subjects, but they are all built on and biased by the experiences of the authors.

I find it interesting that the Bible places 31 chapters in the Book of Proverbs and I know many who read a complete chapter daily and have been doing so for years. This faithful habit grounds them in wise actions that are pleasing to God and useful in their daily walk.

Most of the book is attributed to King Solomon, and it’s chock-full of pithy sayings that amply instruct the reader in virtuous behavior and how to live a godly existence. Faithful compliance will lead the student in the Lord’s instruction on a path that will be pleasing to God and bring about good experiences.

There’s one experience we’ll never have to face. Our Lord faced this world in a unique way. As the perfect Son of God without sin, He experienced all that we’ve experienced, yet He remained sinless for our sake. On the cross, Christ Jesus became sin for us. He took on all the sin of the world so that we might be saved from our sin.

Please consider what He has accomplished for us on the cross. He did not just take away your sin. He has taken away the nature of sin from all who place their faith in Him. Once we accept that wonderful gift, we experience the Holy Spirit and a new relationship with our Father in Heaven.

I trust you will one day have this life-changing experience while there’s still time, since He died a vicarious death for our sake. That’s how much God loves us!

Passages to Ponder

» Proverbs 2:6-15

» Proverbs 23:19-24

» Proverbs 28:18-20

» John 3:16-18

» Colossians 2:6-8

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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