“Experience makes you wise.”
We hear that one again and again and again.
And like most lines we hear again and again and again, we tend to believe it.
Yet even experience itself should tell us that this is simply not true. Experience – real experience witnessing and reading about real people doing real things throughout real history – shouts quite emphatically that experience does not make one wise.
How many people do the same stupid things again and again and again, only to double down in pride and arrogance?
How many people deemed “successful” by secular standards keep doing the same wicked, immoral things seemingly without negative consequence for year after year after decade after decade, only to grow more and more entrenched in the idiotic delusion that they arewise and that their ways really do work, despite everything that God has made plain to the contrary? Donald Trump and America itself seem worthy of consideration as two fine examples of this.
Experience doesn’t make a person wise.
He may and often does choose to use experience to bring people closer to a true knowledge of Him (which is where all true wisdom lies), but He is just as able (and seemingly more frequently inclined) to use experience and ill-gotten “success” as the means by which he hardens those who persist in futile, suicidal rebellion against Him. Again, America comes to mind.
All true wisdom begins with true Fear of Him, which then inevitably inspires loving obedience to Him:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
~ Proverbs 9:10
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
~ Jesus, in John 14:15
Experienced, unrepentant sinners (even of the extremely “successful” sort) – be they individuals or businesses or cultures – are not wise.
They are not good.
They are doomed.
Apart from God freely choosing to grace a man, woman, culture or civilization with true wisdom, they will all toil, fade, and eventually fall away into judgment.
May God grace us here and now with true wisdom, rooted in Him, inspiring obedience to Him, and capable of transforming every life, home, community and culture by the power of His Gospel-fueled Great Commission, all by His grace, all for His glory, and all to our eternal benefit.