A child gathers information by watching and listening to his mother. He also learns by interacting with his environment. He tries things, and the world responds. That’s how he finds out that you can fall down stairs, that stoves are sometimes hot, and that ice cream tastes good. In the same way, I have come to understand that your insights from the scriptures will be pointless unless you’re engaged both with the Bible and your experience. We mustn’t ignore our experiences when we study the scriptures, for they always count. It would help you make sense of the experiences encountered by Bible figures.

Because we have seen so many people misunderstand their experience, we Christians tend to be suspicious of experience itself. It is fair to conclude that we must be careful when we analyze experiences, but we ought not conclude that experience itself is unreliable. Many people misapply the scriptures, but do we assume that the defects is in the scriptures? Of course not. Therefore, when people misunderstanding their experience, we should realize that the source of the problem lies not in the experience, but in the interpretation of the experience.

For example, a woman named Marta might reach the age of forty and evaluate her experience like this: “I’m not married. Being single and childless is painful. I could have avoided this pain if I had married Theo. Theo broke up with me because I wouldn’t move in with him without being married. It was a mistake to be so rigid about the Bible’s sexual standards. I would be happy now if I had seen those standards are outmoded in today’s world 😊.”

You can see that Marta’s interpretation of her experience and the Bible is filtered through some questionable world view assumptions, such as:

A. Marta believes the point of life is to minimize pain. Is that true? What does God think about that?
B. Marta thinks married people are happier than single ones. Does the scripture have any evidence on that?
C. Marta thinks Theo would have made a good husband. What are the qualities of a person likely to be a reliable partner through the trials of life? What could Marta learn about this from the Bible?

Marta doesn’t need to throw out her experiences and just listen to the scriptures. She also doesn’t need to throw out the scriptures and learn only from her experiences. She needs to go to the scriptures with the questions prompted by experience and rethink her experience in light if the Bible.

So, if your interpretation of reality conflicts with your interpretation of scripture, you know one is wrong. In order to connect scriptures to your life, you’ll need to go back and examine both experience and scripture more closely. Input from other people can help you get past your blind spots. 😊

In some cases you may never fully understand your experience. When a child dies, a parent may never fully understand how the scriptural teaching that God is good can be consistent with the experience of this loss. This is a mystery. But the fact that the parent can never fully understand the consistency between scripture and experience, doesn’t mean there is no consistency. Nor does it mean the parent won’t grow from struggling to see consistency, the goodness of God at work in the midst of suffering.

Love and Peace ❤️💕😊

Photo by Joel Muniz

Whitney Edna Ibe is the Executive Consultant, Life & Mental Health Coach, and Writer/ Editor at Whitney Edna Ibe Consult (Blog), Flyhiee.com, The Social Talk, and Penprofile.com. She is in charge of consultations, services, and implementation. Whitney is a full-time Inspirational Blogger and Writer making a living from this new and active medium. I'm also an author and speaker. She started Whitney Ibe's blog in 2016 after she stumbled on a blog post by the blogger; shattered in him. She fell in love with blogging immediately. She explored issues of religion, relationship, culture, society, spirituality, politics, and music. She is doing what she loves to do, writing and inspiring people to become better versions of themselves. Her goal is to add more value to your world than you ever dreamed possible by providing life-changing, inspiring, motivating articles, blog posts, poetry, and short stories. As a life coach, consultant, Edna is focused on an individual's personal development and happiness. She is skilled at providing structured questions to help coordinate an individual's thoughts and has excellent reasoning skills for assisting clients in setting tangible goals. She is accommodating and not prudent with her knowledge. She knows what she’s doing and loves helping others achieve their goals. Many of the top bloggers on WordPress and various websites have learned from her writing style, and it has helped them get their blogs to where they are now. Her website is full of great material to help you follow in her footsteps. She has helped many bloggers, and I can’t praise her enough.  You will learn so much from her.  She has one of those sites that you can easily get lost in reading her excellent posts. She loves dessert,t especially chocolate mixed with whipped cream and strawberries. She enjoys long walks on the beach.

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