THE DANGER OF EXPERIENCE. DID YOU KNOW?

We have grown up with a whole melting pot of diverse experiences in life, ranging from school, community, family, finances and other many ways. We almost always tend to boast, depend and thrive on our experiences, to gain honour/respect, jobs, and even bragging rights before our peers. It is good to seek and have experiences. It makes one distinct from others. However, have you considered how fatal experiences can be in some instances and conditions? The condition in which you put your experiences can be a blessing or a bane. Follow keenly, what this article has to inform you about how dangerous your experiences can be to you.

He Defied the Ranks

Goliath was undoubtedly a dangerous figure to behold. His story is captured in 1 Samuel 17:1-23. He was the hero of the Philistines. No one can be a hero without many experiences. His amour’s specs were;
-Bronze helmet
-57kg coat of mail
-Bronze leg armour
-Bronze javelin

It takes a lot of experience and strength to handle such. His ego produced results for him. He had succeeded in intimidating the great Israelite army, right from the King, Saul to the least in the army, for forty days and nights. Goliath also experienced honour from his people – he had an armour bearer and was called a champion. His people greatly revered him. His experiences in past glories, his strength, honour, and physique made him think the Israelite army is no match for him. Perhaps he was right. This convinced him to make defying utterances against God’s people. David came to the scene, convinced Saul of the relatively little experience he had, depending on God, wanted to face Goliath.

People with ‘Goliath Experiences’

People who have ‘Goliath experiences’ are seen as heroes in their immediate space because of their obvious achievements. They’ve had serious experiences and exposures, which have put them above their peers or their immediate space. Such people have enjoyed honour from people for a relatively long time. Their ego and pride of life have always achieved results for them. They are seen as ‘seniors’ and leaders by all standards. This has urged them to depend solely on their experiences because of the results they have received.

Back to Goliath

Goliath might not have trained well enough. He had used 40 days and nights to defy and insult the Israelites. His experiences (honour, amours, and strength) had deceived him to think he is better off without training, in his quest to challenge Israel. David’s courage and dependence on God proved this giant wrong to the utter dismay of the Philistines. When you have the ‘Goliath experiences’ (achievements and honour), you may lose out on something to everyone’s surprise, because of the higher possibility of being complacent. Your obvious achievements and honour may make you think you are better. You may be tricked by not preparing adequately for something you have won the victory over, several times. You need to depend on God, despite your achievements and honour. Remember, you haven’t achieved anything more than God. Don’t be a Goliath in experiences.

“I have never eaten anything impure

This incident happened in Acts 10:9-16, after Christ had ascended, the Gospel began to reach the Gentiles, and the Law of Moses was being reformed. God, through a trance, showed Peter different kinds of animals- both ‘clean and unclean’. God admonished him to ‘kill and eat’. This is where Peter’s experiences clouded his judgment. He told God, “I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure and unclean” (Acts 10:14, NLT). Thus, from his experience with the Jewish Law from infancy, he has never eaten such things and was never ready to eat them, even when God told him to. His experience with the Jewish Law prevented him from being open-minded about what God is doing. It clouded his judgments, thus, immediately condemning the animals, even when it was God Himself who admonished him to eat them.

Also, he failed to pay attention to detail because of his experiences with Jewish Law. Verse 12 of the passage says, “In it were all kinds of four-footed animals, reptiles, and birds of the air” (ISV). Some four-footed animals are not unclean, according to Leviticus 11. He failed to pay attention to detail because he had an experience with not eating all ‘unclean animals’. This brought him to a hasty conclusion that all the animals he saw were unclean.

People with ‘Peter Experiences’

Because such people have held some laws and values so dear to their hearts for a long time, they find it difficult to accept changes. Their judgments are clouded with old norms and ways of doing things. Such people need practical events to change their minds, as the event at Cornelius’ house changed Peter’s mind (Acts 10:22-34).
Furthermore, people with Peter Experiences tend to have a clouded judgment of a change agenda. They fail to recognize the good in every change-making process. This is because they had been caught up so much in their old ways of thinking. This prevents them from looking at things positively. They, first of all, see how impossible a change agenda is before looking at how possible it can be. Such people may never experience a real change in their life, even when it is God behind the scenes orchestrating things for their good.

In dealing with such people, make sure your change agenda is more practical than just explanatory. That’s how God dealt with Peter’s ‘unchanging mentality’ that was sourced from his previous experiences.

We are also Levites!

Korah can be said to be one of the most controversial and rebellious men in the Bible. His rebellion, captured in Numbers 16, came as a result of several experiences; he was a Levite, he wielded influence, he knew the Law (and knew how to challenge it), and he was outspoken. Note that for a person to single-handedly begin such a rebellion against Moses and Aaron’s leadership, he should have had a track record of experiences that would urge him to do more. It won’t be surprising to know Korah had been part of Israel’s grumblings and complaints all along their journey if we were ever told. Korah, even though served in the Tabernacle, was not satisfied with his position,

He began to accuse Moses and Aaron of imposing their leadership on the Israelites and managed to organize 250 people to support him. Now, it takes one who has experience in organizing rebellion to do this. A novice won’t succeed to Korah’s extent. He used his influence and position to convince people to rebel. Korah ended up dead with his family and all those who still decided to follow him. He wasn’t only rebelling against two men – he was rebelling against God’s appointed men. He rebelled against God’s decision.

Be careful how you confront issues and question leaders, especially those appointed by God. You may be exhibiting your rebellious experiences against God’s own decisions.

People with ‘Korah Experiences’

These kinds of people have survived and thrived in various rebellious thoughts, presumptions, and actions. They know how to convince people with their rebellious ideas to have followers. In dealing with such people, one must be shown a great deal of the power associated with authority.

Thus, the authority God gave Moses and Aaron was backed by an inherent power, which God showed to the rebellious Korah and his rebels. This humbled the whole of Israel. When you show such people the power backing your authority, they will be humbled. This is not the idea of violence. This is discipline!

So are Experiences Good Afterall?

It is never bad to have experiences. Our and others’ experiences make life easier for us. However, if you don’t appropriate your experiences well, you are likely to end up complacent, proud, hard-hearted, or rebellious in the end. The results of these traits are not good. Your end in every matter is the glory of the Lord; let it remain so – appropriate your experiences well.

May the Lord Mend our Net!

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