Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sunday Reading Saturday: How many "How-to" books have you read?

How many 'How-to" books have your read so far in your life?  Have you considered the Bible a "How-to" book?  Why or why not?  In the Christian world, the Bible is considered the teaching manual for living a good life.  So, why don't we rely on it on a daily basis, or when a situation comes up that needs more reflection and guidance?  When the family auto begins to run rough, the manual is consulted, when we can't get the computer to boot up, the manual is consulted, when assembling a new bookshelf or other new project, the instructions are consulted.  So, why when life happens, the manual not consulted?  Recently, my knight decided to get out the book, "How to raise a daughter" after having given up on making sense of our lovely 14 year old.  I'll be checking into the Bible today on this one!

In Sunday's reading the message is clear cut, life is good if lived righteously.  What came to my mind immediately, however, is how easy it is to slip into a wayward life in simple, but detrimental ways.  Speaking unkindly about someone (even if there is some truth) to others.  Complaining about a teacher, another parent, your children, or your spouse.  When doing this, we can literally talk ourselves into or out of love and kindness for another!  Now you don't want to that to your children or your spouse, do you?  If we don't speak badly of other, if we look through Christ's eyes in difficult situations, we have no worries.  Malicious speech comes in many forms, I repeat, malicious speech comes in MANY forms.  Gossip, is anything that is spoken in secret about another, good, bad, or indifferent.  A false accusation is anything that is said to another about someone else from hearsay, right or wrong, it's an accusation that can cause harm.

Taking care of what goes out of our mouths is more important in the long run that what goes into it. Jesus said in Mark 7:14 ..."Listen to me, all of you, and understand:  there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile."  Shakespeare said, "Give thy thoughts no tongue."  Our mouths get us in trouble more times than not, with guidance and prayerfulness this can be overcome.  Schools seem to breed the most problematic oral poison, so if you are a school parent, stop, think, and pray before speaking, agreeing, or repeating things you hear.  Being a homeschooling family for over 7 years and recently reentering the formal school arena, I am reminded of why we left this situation in the first place!

Reading the manual of life, the Bible, is clear cut on every part of life, parenting, business, entertainment, difficult people, unemployment, marriage, children, charities, etc. So, basically when we open our hearts and minds to God's Word we are rewarded in kind. There is no 'rocket science' to life, but there is a 'how-to' manual for it.

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