You are the product of your life experiences and the knowledge you have deliberately acquired along the way.
Most people are reactive, their life values are built around their reactions to negative or positive life experiences usually in the family or immediate social circle, (even though today the media is playing an increasingly powerful role in shaping public thought and morals) this is how most people live, but this is not how a man or woman of faith should live.
The designed way to live is by the proper and deliberate assimilation of life values and principles derived from the word of God. God desires us to assess our life experiences through the word of God and react according to the principles, values and the culture of His Kingdom.
Usually people say, experience is the best teacher and this saying is an example of how the natural person thinks, experience can be a very hard and sometimes a poor teacher. The best teacher is Jesus and His teachings.
Sure you can learn a lot from experience but it depends on what you want to learn, if you are not careful, you may learn all the wrong lessons.
As an example of how life experiences can improperly teach or shape us negatively, I’ll use the marital relationship. It has been my discovery that the major problems that plagues our marital relationships can be traced to the homes we came from.
Most of the values we have picked up concerning marriage for example have been picked up from that which was modeled to us in our homes, God’s word teaches or mirrors the relationship between husband, wife and Children, a woman who never saw the proper submission relationship modeled in her family will find it very difficult to live in the same in her own home, the man who never saw what it was to love his wife as Christ loved his Church will find it very difficult to do same to his wife.
Both parties will deal with each other solely on the basis of their emotions, feelings and desires, so you wonder why people fall in and out of love and why divorce rates, domestic abuse and family breakdowns are rising even in the Church.
So many times even among those who have come to Jesus or the Kingdom, the process of unlearning all the negatives is long and sometimes very difficult, it requires a conscious and deliberate desire to unlearn and relearn this time through the word and by the help of God’s Holy Spirit. Even then there will be many learning ‘experiences’ that will require patience, lots of frustration, love and forgiveness.
The root of divorce, malice and strife is in dealing with each other on the basis of feelings, emotions and such natural things, the child of God cannot afford to live like that, forgiveness, love, humility, submission are spiritual values that must be lived out of our hearts by faith in God’s word.
Are feelings not important? Of course they are, God gave them to us to express ourselves but not to base our decisions on, we are to live by the word, feelings are so unreliable that even the weather can affect them!
How many times have you prayed because you felt like it? How many times have you began to pray even when you did not feel like it and then you began to feel like it as you prayed, your feelings changed with your action.
We live in an age of reason, we have studies, data, polls and all the like that we use to base our decisions on even in our relationships! We have enthroned reason over and above the spirit or put in this way faith in God’s word. Reason is good and very necessary but let it be enlightened reason, that is reason based on the revelation of God’s word. God thinks but his thoughts are based on His ways, values and principles, man thinks but his thoughts are lower, weaker and often perverted.
Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:7-9 NKJV
Every Church or family that professes Jesus must recognize that they are a kingdom community and should be expressing Kingdom culture, values and principles, so that children see love, faith, giving , faithfulness, temperance etc they learn to live out of their spirits by the word of God.
It is a sad commentary on the Church that divorce rates are about same as for those outside the Church, it potryas a far bigger problem than just the symptom of high divorce rates, it tells me that we have the form of godliness but lack the power thereof, that we have the container but lack the content, that we are in the Church but are of the world. At best it shows that at in some areas at least we have not immersed ourselves in the kingdom of God, before you misunderstand me, I am not saying that we don’t face the same temptations or issues that the people who are not in the kingdom of God but we don’t have to have the same outcomes because we have far superior resources and ability to lean on. We can live by faith and walk in all of God’s supernatural power and presence.