As I was combing through the current events, I stumbled upon a shocking story about a guy who is trying to get fat on purpose. This isn’t just any man either, he is a personal trainer and a guy who is normally very healthy and in shape. Drew Manning decided in May to spend six months getting fat so he could better understand the struggles overweight people face as they try to slim down. 70 pounds later and with three weeks to go, this has played quite a toll on Drew. He now has high blood pressure, can’t go a day without drinking a pop, and feels addicted to all the junk food he has been eating. After his six months are complete, his plan is to get back in shape and use this experience as he helps others lose weight.
I respect Drew Manning for taking this journey. It has obviously been a challenge for him and his family, but I admire the fact that he seeks to use these experiences to help others. Sadly, few in the church today are as bold. It seems like many Christians shy away from using their own life experiences and struggles to help others. We have all gone through difficult times, but we tend to keep those inside and secret from everyone else. Why not use those experiences to keep others out of those sins? Why not use our experiences to help someone who is dealing with a loss or a situation we have also gone through? There our countless ways to use our pasts to help someone’s present.
Scripture talks a good deal about training, teaching, and helping others. Surely included in this would be a “learn from my life and mistakes” mentality. Titus 2:3-5 talks about the older women teaching the younger women. Verses 6-8 talk about training up the young men as well. Ephesians 6:4 and Proverbs 22:6 talk about bringing children up in the instruction of the Lord. Clearly there are great benefits in helping others learn from our own struggles and mistakes.
What are some the challenges you have faced in your life? The challenge for us now is being courageous enough to use our past issues to help others. How can you use your experiences to help someone else?