Tag Archives: Experience

“I Sat Where They Sat”

Then I came to them of the captivity at Telabib, that dwelt by the river of Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. —Ezekiel 3:15

The experiences of life play a big part in shaping who we are—your upbringing… your education… your friends… your sufferings. The things you go through in life have a profound effect on you. They may harden you, or soften you / embitter you (Job), or strengthen you (Paul).

It is hard to help someone when you’ve not experienced what they are going through. If I’m having a problem, I’d want to be with someone who has already been through the same thing.

When you have gone through a certain trial, you can be “touched” when someone else is going through the same things. You’ve been there. You’ve sat where they sit.

Have you experienced God’s mercy? Then you should be merciful to others.

Has God been kind and gracious to you? Then you should be kind and gracious to others.

Has God forgiven your sins? They you should forgive others who have sinned against you.

As Jesus said, “Freely you have received. Freely give.”

We should treat the lost with compassion because we were once lost ourselves. We know what it’s like to be lost. As God told His people, “Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Dt. 10:19). Paul reminded the Corinthians, “And such were some of you: but ye are washed” (2 Cor. 6:11).

When facing death, I want someone who has already gone through it!   Jesus will go with me through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23), because He’s already been there and back again (Heb. 2:9)! But if you are not saved, you’ll go through death alone.

Some Things I Did not Learn In Bible College

While I thank God for the education I received in Bible College, there are a few things that were not included in the curriculum. These are things I’m still learning after I graduation…

  1. How to love. Jesus is teaching me this by realizing how He loves me and loves others.
  2. I never knew how complicated peoples lives can be. Counseling hurting and broken lives is the hardest part of the ministry. Before every counseling session I need to pray to God for wisdom (James. 1:5).
  3. Seminary did not teach me leadership skills and how to manage people. I’m still learning this.
  4. While homiletics taught me the mechanics of preaching, it did not teach me how to preach. Preaching is more than an event. It is my life that preaches more effectively than any sermon from the pulpit.
  5. While I had my preacher “heroes” in college, I had to learn to let God make me into the preacher He wanted me to be and not try to be someone else.
  6. I do not recall much attention given to family matters.  A pastor’s number one ministry is to his own family.
  7. How judgmental and mean-spirited some “Christians” (and other preachers) can be.  Seminary did not prepare me for how some church members would betray you and gossip about you. This was something that “blindsided” me.
  8. Another truth I would have to learn on the fly, was that the church was God’s church … not mine. I am only God’s under-shepherd.
  9. I’ve learned pastoring is not for the faint of heart. I’m glad the ministry is a calling, and NOT a profession. If God hadn’t called me to preach, I’d probably would have quit long ago (as well I should have).
We never stop learning, do we?