For years I responded like a typical male. I say "typical" because as I
understand it, most men responded as I did to the subject of following
directions. In defense of those who are not like me, it is apparent that
they learned their lesson already and should not be subjected to any sort of
O.K. Hereís my story...
When my wife Nancy would ask me to purchase one of those
assemble-it-yourself bookcases or computer desks or whatever, I simply left
the instructions in the box and plowed through the project with the
precision of a Mac truck.
Sure there were pieces left over - they always put extra pieces in there
just to confuse men. Right? And I might have cut a few pre-cut pieces in
order to make it look right. And I might have used a few nails that weren't
included just to hold it all together. The point is I didn'tít need
instructions because my own gut level instinct guided my every home
There have been times that I didn't get the piece of home furnishing I
thought I was purchasing. Take for instance a certain home entertainment
center. When I put the pieces together it was actually a tailor made plant
holder. I still don't understand that one. They must have mislabeled the
box - yeah, that must be it.
Then one summer my family was invited to my wife's grandmother's house. She
had a computer desk in a box with the fiendishly simple slogan, "Some
Assembly Required" glaring at me from its cardboard holding cell.
I couldn't make heads or tales of the pieces that were enclosed so I did
something I had previously been reluctant to do - read the instructions. One
huge, glaring, thorny, don't-that-beat-all kinda problem. There were no
instructions in the box. NONE, zero, zip, nada.
What should have been a simple process of looking over a few diagrams and
then following a few directions turned out to be a mind-numbing process of
changing out pieces until they all fit.
Since then I have relented and pull out the instructions, following them to
the letter. Iíll let you in on a little secret - by following the
instructions, projects get done faster, more accurately and I donít have to
attempt to convince my wife that they (the deranged manufacturer) must have
packaged the wrong thing in the box. Besides thatís referred to as lying
IS THERE A POINT TO ALL OF THIS?
Some of us tend to catch onto a few spiritual phrases and bring them up when
we think it is appropriate. Usually that's about as far as we go. Chalk it
up to another case of someone finding a few tools and thinking that they can
put their lives together without following the instruction manual.
However, we often find we have too many pieces - or not enough. We find
pieces that are too long - or too short. We wonder why the picture of a
godly man or woman somehow looks different than what we see in the mirror.
WHAT WENT WRONG?
God put together a plan that helps us have a life that is rich in His
success. He provided detailed instructions for living a life that is
pleasing to Him. And we too often leave the manual (Bible) sitting idle and
unused - comfortable with the status quo. We throw together a few spiritual
sounding phrases with the hope that somehow this takes care of our problems.
BUT NOTHING SEEMS TO FIT!
Maybe itís because the life was put together with the wrong pieces. Perhaps
youíre using pieces that donít fit. Maybe you're trying to hold it all
together using dozens of nails that just aren't doing the trick. Besides, if
we only use our 'gut level instincts' weíre already in trouble cause what we
may be feeling might very well be acid indigestion. You see God made us, so
it only makes sense that He should know what we need to do to build our
lives on Him.
WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO BUILD?
A dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ? A Christ-centered family? Godly children?
Godís Word is filled with instructions that can help you in every area of
your life. That's the good news. The bad news is that you'll never build
properly if you don't read the instruction manual.
Godís instruction manual not only tells you how to build a God-honoring
life, it also let's you know about where to find all the tools you will
need - at no cost to you.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Grab the Manual and get to building!
"Your Word is a lamp for my feet, and a light for my path" (Psalm
[ by Glenn A. Hascall -- from 'The Encourager' ]
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