Were all your experiences wasted? I hope not! –Galatians 3:4 (NCV)
We all have life experiences, don’t we? Experience is surely one of life’s greatest teachers. The pages that make up our lives are filled with the stories of our experiences. These stories are not just disconnected events. No. They are much more. Our stories joined together have a great influence in making us who we are today.
No matter where we are in life, no matter our age, our experiences are intended to teach us to trust God; to build character in our lives; to equip us for serving Christ more effectively.
Our experiences should pay off through the lessons we’ve learned from them. But the experiences we’ve had and the lessons we’ve learned are minimized if we keep them to ourselves. Making the most of our experiences means that we don’t allow them to be wasted, but that we share them with others to instruct and to build up.
In his letter to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul wrote this, “But God’s grace has made me what I am, and his grace to me was not wasted.” –1 Corinthians 15:10a (NCV)
It was God’s gift of grace, His goodness to Paul, which had sustained him through all kinds of experiences and it was grace in those experiences that molded him into the person he became. What Paul had learned through his own experiences was not wasted. Rather, he used them to benefit the whole church.
I love the verse of Scripture found in 1 Thessalonians 2:8, where we read Paul’s words, “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.” Paul wasn’t content just to share the Scriptures with the Christ-followers he spent time with, but rather, he shared his life with them. He shared his experiences and the lessons he had learned in order to encourage and build others’ faith.
God has created you to be used by Him to impact someone else’s faith. There is a wealth of experience and lessons of faith learned within you — just waiting to be shared.
Be a faithful steward of the life God has given you. Make the most of your experiences. Don’t keep them to yourself. Be willing to share the lessons God has taught you, letting others tap into the fountain of God’s grace.
1. Do you feel that you have a lot of experiences and faith lessons that if shared, can benefit someone else? Why or why not?
2. Give some thought to which person among your closest friends could most benefit from your sharing of experiences and the faith lessons you’ve learned. What action step can you take in the coming week to connect with this person?
Proverbs 27:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 1:4