August 27, 2014

Evaluated Experience

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 27, 2014

I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw. Proverbs 24:32.

Experience can be an excellent teacher if we take the time to evaluate. Mindless activities create shallow thinking, while evaluated action broadens our perspective. We hone the skill of synthesizing a variety of ideas into the best idea. If we do not know the best approach, we still take a step toward what seems to be right and adjust as we go. The wise know how to objectively observe people and situations. They take mental notes and apply what they learn from another’s successes and failures. Life is a daily laboratory. We observe, evaluate, learn and apply lessons.

For example, a friend’s mismanagement of money is painful to watch. What’s even more devastating is for us to repeat the same mistakes that crippled their ability to pay bills without going into longterm debt. A positive model would be moms and dads who confess to imperfect parenting, but by God’s grace see their child grow into a young adult who loves and obeys the Lord. Learn humble words from them like: “I’m sorry, please forgive me for speaking harshly.” Evaluated experiences of others can save us from the unintended consequences of our ignorance.

“Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach” (Proverbs 22:17).

Evaluated experience is very good stewardship of our time. When we take the time to ask a coworker for their opinion, we are investing in the relationship and contributing to the health of the work culture. To increase the probability of solicited feedback, smart organizations put into place systems that routinely capture employee and customer ideas. It’s the collective experience from a diverse group of stakeholders that results in the most helpful data.  It is time consuming to set up good processes in the short term, but saves time over the long term. They educate us.

In this season of life, what lessons is the Lord teaching you? Perhaps you are learning patience while you wait on His perfect timing. Maybe you are growing in your capacity to receive constructive criticism (not to take it personally) and grow as a follower of Jesus in the process. Pre-decide to autopsy projects that succeed or fail, so a summary of what worked and what didn’t work can be documented and referred to in the future. Most of all, ask the Holy Spirit to frequently audit your soul. An evaluated experience with God can grow you closer to His heart.

“Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind” (Psalms 26:2).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, examine my heart and deeds. Lead me into better ways to live for You.

Related Readings: Jeremiah 17:10; Psalm 119:58-60 Lamentations 3:40; 1 Corinthians 11:28

Post/Tweet today:  The evaluated experiences of others can save us from the unintended consequences of our ignorance. #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: Minute with Maxwell video on Experience-

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