Read the Instructions

This past Christmas morning I joined many fathers around the world as I struggled to remove my son’s toys from it’s wrappings, I glanced at the instructions thought “I can do this”, and then struggled to put it all together, finally resorting to reading the instructions more thoroughly to follow the steps to assemble the toy.

The manufacturer had a plan for putting the toy together, I thought I knew better.  I’m handy enough that usually I can manage to get it put together (sometimes without using all the pieces), but when I falter and struggle, I know I can fall back on the instructions.

I’ve always wished life came with an instruction book.  I wish children came out of the womb with an instruction manual attached.  I wish my body came with a how to guide for when I feel sick.  I wish my career came with a step by step plan I could follow when tough decisions came up.

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
   By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart;
   do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
   that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, LORD;
   teach me your decrees.
With my lips I recount
   all the laws that come from your mouth.
I rejoice in following your statutes
   as one rejoices in great riches.
I meditate on your precepts
   and consider your ways.
I delight in your decrees;
   I will not neglect your word. 
— Psalm 119:9-16

The Bible is God’s manual to live by that He has provided for us.  Many times I take the same approach to reading the Bible as I did in reading the assembly instructions for my child’s toy.  I only looked at it when I didn’t know what to do next.  At that point in the construction of the toy I’ve already screwed up the assembly that reading the instructions just gets us by instead of giving us the full function and usage of the toy or item.  Had I read the instructions ahead of time, I would have done it correctly the first time.

Reading the Bible teaches us about God, who He is, what He thinks and how He acts.  Knowing the ways of God helps us to make wise decisions.  The only way to know these principles is to ready and study God’s word. 

This is an area I need to improve upon myself.  I know that if I study more, then decisions will come easier and I’ll have the wisdom and tools to live through any situation.

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