Must We always Learn Life’s Lessons the Hard Way?


I was just reading the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32. It is an amazing recollection of how often we have to learn life’s lessons the hard way. We have people giving us advice, that we know to be good, but we want to go through life experiencing the hardships, sorrows, and pains that go with not listening to someone who has already been through a part of the journey we are about to embark. It is bewildering to me to look back at my past and see the trouble I had gotten myself into when all of it could have been avoided.

I think, like most, my pride gets the better of me in that instance and I know that what the person is telling me is correct but I want to know the experience of the pain.  I want to know what that sorrow feels like, I want to go through the hardship because, in my mind, I feel that will make me a better person.  As I read Proverbs 11:2,”Pride leads only to shame; it is wise to be humble.” I see that very same attitude in me.

What are your thoughts? Are there situations you know could have been avoided if you only had listened to the advice of an elder or friend? When you look deep in your heart, what forces you to behave or act the way you do?