The Bible As a Basis for Good Mental Health
The Best Teacher
The Best Teacher
They say that experience is the best teacher; but is it?
I mean, if you have made financial decisions where you’ve lost money, took jobs that didn’t pan out, misjudged the character of someone you trusted, that sort of thing…does that mean you’ll never invest in anything again because you’ve learned your lesson? No financial investments, no investing in education for other employment, no commitments of the heart. Based on what those past experiences have taught you, that would be living life in fear, unable to trust anyone or anything, including yourself.
You’ve seen those “Recipes for Life”…2 cups of kindness, 1 cup of laughter, ½ cup of Patience . . .And butter! (no, wait…that’s all of…er…one of… my recipes.) And what is the life metaphor for butter, anyway? Let things slide off your back? Or maybe, let go of resentments, disappointments, disagreements and such? Buttered pans release a cake more easily. Yes, that’s good! Letting the negative thoughts slide into the category of “Things That Slipped My Mind.”
Personally, I need to put in more Faith than Hope, and maybe leave out that ¼ cup of Anxiety. A pinch is enough. But butter is still “OK.” Maybe that’s about living a balanced life, and enjoying good things without guilt, albeit in moderation. (Next week, we’ll talk about bacon and chocolate. Anxiety, anyone?)
If we have ambiguous information today, we tend to interpret today’s situation based on past experience. With incomplete data now, we tend to fill in the blanks with what we know—things we learned before. But we can choose to live now with a “Faith-filled Future” in mind, or we can choose to live now in a “Painful Past.”
In that regard, we can look back and say, “Wow! I didn’t like THAT at the time, but I can see where it helped me. Extract the “good” from the “bad.” Popular television personality and announcer, Steve Harvey, said the other day on the Ellen Show, “In every bit of adversity, there is a lesson, and a blessing.” I like that. It keeps us from being stuck on the lesson, which may have been painful. Let it go, I tell myself, and focus on that blessing.
For a Christian, past experiences can be a great teacher, if we see the past in a positive light. We need faith to do that. I believe that there is a reason why things happen as they do; because God has a plan for my life and yours. My favorite Bible verse has always been Romans 8:28… “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called according to his purpose.” We are all called. A Voice Carries.