chewing your own gum

I'm not a germ freak by any means, but I do like to chew my own gum.

I've shared gum with my wife before and had no problem with it. In fact, when your breath is not the greatest and a loved one is trying to look out for you and all that's available is some gum they've already been chewing on for the past're grateful to take whatever you can get.

But chewing on someone else's gum always come with a downside...
less flavor than if you were chewing on your own fresh piece.

There are definitely some similarities when it comes to our spiritual lives.

I'll be the first to say that I love to learn and glean from other Christ-followers, mentors, leaders, etc. Ones that are older, younger, and ones that have been dead for decades.

And although we can appreciate, learn, be inspired by, and even experience a level of transformation from the "gum" others have already chewed on, we must never settle for only living on secondary revelation.

"When the religious views of others interpose between us and the primary experience of Jesus as the Christ, we become unconvicted and unpersuasive travel agents handing out brochures to places we have never visited." -Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel)

"The culmination of knowledge is not conceptual but experiential."
-Philosopher Jacques Maritain

Many times I am so busy learning new things from other great men and women of God that the Holy Spirit has to prompt me to put down the books, turn off the ipod, and shut down the computer.

It's time to "Be still and know [experience] that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Enjoy chewing your own gum this week. There is no substitute for having a personal encounter with the living God.