Secondhand Faith or Firsthand Experience?

Forward Day by Day, John 4:42, Faith

Forward Day by Day, John 4:42, Faith

John 4:42. “[The Samaritans] said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe,
for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.'”

There’s a difference between listening to someone describe a sunset and seeing the colors for yourself, between reading glowing reviews for a great restaurant and eating a meal. There’s also a big difference between hearing about Jesus and hearing Jesus speak directly to our hearts.

The Samaritan woman leaves the well and returns to the city. She tells the people everything that has happened between her and Jesus. She is describing the most beautiful sunset she has ever seen, reviewing the best meal she has ever eaten—she is extending her invitation for them to “come and see” Jesus for themselves. We hear her invitation and pray for the grace to accept it, to see and hear Jesus for ourselves.

I want to hear the stories and learn wisdom from my brothers and sisters, and then I want to see the sunset, eat the meal, and hear for myself. Don’t you? Never settle for a secondhand faith when we can have a firsthand experience.

*Originally written for and published by Forward Day by Day.


  1. Thank you for once again for these words of wisdom. We can have these firsthand experiences every day if we just open our hearts and minds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very close to what George Fox said. The founder of Quakerism believed that personal experience was key: the phrase he used was ‘What can’st thou say?’

    Liked by 1 person

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