Learning by Observation

September 16, 2019

Learning by Observation

By Russell George

There is a mountain of truth that can be learned by observation. Many fail to take advantage of it. Thousands of young people go in debt to get a college education. They still come out ignorant of much truth they could have learned at little cost just by observation.

I recently heard a radio preacher talking on this theme. He told about a professor in a medical school who was trying to teach his students that there was much that thy could learn by observation. On his desk he had a vial of human urine. He told his class that there was something about health that could be learned by tasting human urine. He stuck his finger in the vial and then put his finger on his tongue. Nearly everyone in the class cringed when they saw him do it.

Then he said, “Now I’m going to pass the vial around so you can all taste it.” No one wanted to do it, but out of respect for their professor, they did it. After everyone had tasted it he picked up the vial and went back to his desk. He asked the class, “Did you learn anything from that?” They all looked at him with a blank look on their face. No one said anything. Then the professor said, “If you had been observing you would have observed that I put my index finger in the vial but I put my middle finger on my tongue. Now let me tell you what can be learned about health by drinking human urine. It will make you sick.

There is much that we can learn by observing the people around us. Let’s suppose that you are doubtful about whether genuine Christians who consistently live the Christian life gain anything by it. You may think that they make a great sacrifice and get little in return for it. However, if you will carefully observe their life, in contrast to others who aren’t Christians, you will see that they do gain by it. For example, you will notice that:

1. They don’t get arrested and put in jail for not obeying the law.

2. They never fall under an addiction.

3. They too suffer from afflictions, but they have a cheerful spirit in spite of it.

4. They have a reason for living and have goals for their life.

5. They are happy and seem to be enjoying life.

We also learn much by observing what is written. Psalm 119:18-19 says, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.” There is no end of what we can learn by reading. In our day we have access to an almost inexhaustible quantity of books on almost any subject. Many can be had at little cost. Those who have a computer can go to the books section in the Amazon store. There they can buy used books, new books, books in hard cover or paper back, as well as e-books. There are e-books by older authors that are out of print but they are still available as e-books. Many can be down loaded for free. Others only cost “.99. Many good used books can be found at yard sales or Good Will stores.

Many great truths can be learned by reading history. We learn by observing what has happened in the past. It is unfortunate that history is often omitted from the curriculum of secular public schools today. If history is taught it is often taught from books that give a distorted version of the facts. History books written for public schools today are often written by authors who distort the truth to make it agree with their ideology. By reading history we learn what has had good results and what hasn’t worked. If we refuse to learn from history we will go on making the same mistakes that our forefathers made.

People who learn by observation are not ignorant of the fact that the more people depart from God the more immorality there is. The more God fearing people we have the less civil unrest we have in our society. For example, 50 years ago we never heard about people with a gun going into a place were people are assembled and start to shot people at random. What happened? It isn’t guns that have changed. People have changed. People who believe in God and respect his laws don’t go out and kill people at random. They know and obey the commandment that says, “Thou shalt not kill.”

God fearing people don’t decide what they should or shouldn’t do by finding out what is socially acceptable in our culture. They ask, “What does God say?” They decide what moral values they should have by reading what the Bible says. The less Bible believing, Bible obeying people we have, the more social unrest we have.

Wouldn’t you agree that reducing social unrest and making our society better is a cause worth getting involved in? If so, here is what you can do.

If you aren’t 100% sure that you are a born again Christian here is what you need to do. You need to put your faith in the sacrifice Christ made for us when he died on the cross. Stop thinking you will get to heaven by your own merits. You will never be good enough. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” You need to pray and confess to God that you are a sinner. Then you need to ask him to forgive you and make you one of his children. That’s what Romans 10:9 says. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” If you do that, and surrender to God, he will begin his transforming work in your life.

After that you need to start telling others what God has done and is doing in your life and encourage them to do the same. Being in a good local church will be a tremendous help to you. If enough people do this we can change our country and make it great again,

Open your eyes and see what God has done. He will give you joy in life and use you to help others open their eyes to see what God can do in and through them. Some think that living the Christian life would be boring. It would be if you didn’t start by having a genuine personal relationship with God. He is with us every hour of the day and night. Through prayer we can talk to him at any time. We can share our joys with him and call upon him to supply our needs. We live the Christian life to please him because we love him.

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