I am a believer in secondhand cars and houses. Let someone else take the depreciation on the car and let someone else plant the grass and the shrubbery. I am even wearing a secondhand shirt. I have even performed marriages for couples who are getting a secondhand wife and a secondhand husband. There is much to be said for experience and learning not to repeat certain mistakes.
There is one thing I am not high on. That is secondhand spiritual experiences. It doesn’t work to be a fan or devotee to another person’s experience. I have heard people say, “If Pastor Soandso says it. It has to be true.” I’m sure Pastor Soandso is a good woman or man and what she or he said works for them. But what is important is for each of us to build our own relationship with God and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into understanding. First and foremost, we should be followers of Jesus and not another human. The only way this can happen is spending the time necessary to build that relationship with God.
Reading the Bible for oneself, praying over a passage, opening up one’s thought processes to new ideas is the way to make this occur. Find what works for you. It could be reading an entire book of the Bible through at one sitting. It could be reading each day until a verse speaks to you. That might result in reading chapters or maybe reading just one verse. When you find that verse stop reading. Make it your marching orders for the day. Write it on a card and come back to it several times. The result is you and God will develop a fresh one-on-one experience. It is yours. It is not secondhand.
Written by Roger Bothwell on August 5, 3015
PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574