The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
— Jeremiah 17:9
One popular play and movie people always enjoy watching this time of year is A Christmas Carol, based on the story by Charles Dickens. In it, there is one scene that’s very interesting, especially when you compare it to how many people see Jesus today.
His deceased coworker, Jacob Marley, had just paid a very discomforting visit to Ebenezer Scrooge. Clearly the old miser is shaken by the entire ordeal. But after the encounter, does he take the message to heart? No, he simply dismisses it by saying: “Bah, humbug. It wasn’t real!”
“Just a bit of undigested beef,” he says to himself. “There is more gravy about you than the grave.”
Interestingly enough, that’s how many people explain away their spiritual encounters with God. Perhaps they had a time in their lives when they felt very close to God. But looking back, they chalk it up to a one-time “spiritual high” that left them when reality set in.
Experience is something, but it’s definitely not everything. Experiences can be explained away, but lasting life-change can’t. Don’t simply base your love for Christ on your experiences, but look at how God has brought about real change in you and serve Him in that light!
Pray that God would help you base your love for Him not just on experience, but on how you’ve been changed because of Him.
Questions for Thought
How have you seen how trusting your experiences in the past lead you down the wrong path?
In what ways has God brought about real change in your life? How can reflecting on that lead you toward a deeper relationship with Him?