Experience is NOT the Best Teacher

I thought that with her being a life coach she would be all for learning by our experiences… but I was wrong.

Psalm 78:1-72

Reference: v.6 so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children. (TNIV Bible)

Explore: I recently heard life coach, Lisa McInnes-Smith, talk about experience NOT being the best teacher.  When she first made this statement, I was quite surprised.  I thought that with her being a life coach, she would be all for learning by our experiences… but I was wrong!  Her point was not that experience is a bad teacher, for all of us learn from our experiences, but that if we only ever learned from experience then we would constantly have to fail at things rather than learning from others.  She encouraged us to learn from OPE (other people’s experience).

Application: The Bible is filled with OPEs (other people’s experiences). Each story is there to teach us how others have lived and how we should live with God in the best way possible. Sure, our own experience of God is essential for our faith, but when we are searching for answers and direction, the Bible is a great place to go to see how faithful followers of God have dealt with issues in the past.  I love this verse in Psalm 78 that says that those of faith do not want to hide their experiences, but want the next generations to learn from them.  We already have the next generation of believers coming up and we have an opportunity to allow them to learn from our experiences if we are open and honest in our faith.

Prayer: Lord, we view our faith as something really personal, but help us to see that we were meant to have faith in community – so that we can be encouraged by others and they can be encouraged by us. Amen.

What is something from your faith experience that you would like to pass onto the next generation?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.


Russell DrowleySeptember 30, 2011 at 10:33 AMReply

Good teaching Linda.
Thank goodness for the experiences of others.

Russell DrowleySeptember 30, 2011 at 10:37 AMReply


Nzinyangwa mkiramweniOctober 2, 2011 at 4:28 AMReply

Nice teachings Linda God will grant you eternal life.

nzinyangwa mkiramweniOctober 5, 2011 at 2:50 AMReply

I request fore more teachings on how to get in to marriage.

RobbieJanuary 2, 2012 at 10:45 PMReply

Wow! I came to your site via YouVersion.com notes. Love this…. learning from OPE!

Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!