READ: 1 Corinthians 13:9-13

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” – 1 Corinthians 13:12

An experienced person is someone who knows the difference between the ideal and the real. The “ideal” is like the stars of the sky. It tells us where we want to go. The real is what is “on the ground”. It tells us where we really are. Theoretical knowledge will tell you the ideal but experience will tell you what is real.

The ideal and the real are also seen in the ministry. Church growth principles may be applied, but the church will still not grow. This is because the ideal is different from the real. Experience will teach you that. It is ideal to live up to seventy years, but I have watched as young pastors have died in the midst of their years. It is ideal for everyone to be healed, but the real is not so. Even Jesus did not try to heal everyone. Experience will make you mature and make you a more temperate leader.

Do not despise the lessons of maturity that you are learning. Do not change your theologies because of your experiences. The Word of God is still true. The fact is that we don’t know everything. There is a reason why the real is often different from the ideal. There are often other factors at work that we are not aware of. It is not everything that we know or understand.

Paul did not understand everything. He described it as seeing through a dark glass (1 Corinthians 13:12). Maturity comes from experience. Experiences in life will harden you. Maturity drives away delusions and idealism.

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