The World’s Best How-to Book |
Life is not a dress rehearsal. We’re on stage for our first and final performance, and we don’t get any do-overs. We need a how-to book, and I have good news. There is a proven how-to book; its advice has never failed for thousands of years.
The book is the best-selling book of all time and tops the bestseller list year after year. The problem is very few people read it, and even fewer people heed its messages about how to live every day. That’s a shame, because it provides advice that could be helpful to you this very day and every day for rest of your days.
The best how-to book of all time is The Holy Bible.
The Bible can be intimidating. First, it’s big, containing 66 shorter books. So where does one start? Unfortunately, that’s about as far as most people get, they just let the book stay on the shelf gathering dust. I’m going to tell you how to get practical of from the Bible right now. Even if you are a person who is totally turned off by religion, you don’t want to hear anything about God, or Jesus, or sin. I understand, but keep reading. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Let me address unbelievers first. The Bible’s how-to advice works for both believers and non-believers. The place for you to start is the book of Proverbs. Proverbs is a collection of moral teachings in the form of short sayings and proverbs. Much of it has to do with practical, everyday concerns. It deals with matters not only of morality, but also of common sense and good manners.
So if you’re not into religion, read anyway. Read the practical every day stuff, the common sense stuff, the good manners stuff. This is not only stuff you need to know, but stuff your children need to know, and they will not learn it anywhere except from their parents.
Proverbs contains 31 short chapters. You can read a chapter each day.
I adopted the habit many years ago of reading the chapter matching the calendar date. If I happen to miss a day or several days, I don’t bother catching up. I just read the chapter matching the date on the calendar. Using this method I read the whole book several times during the year every year.
Here are some sample verses from the 29th chapter, since I’m writing this on the 29th of the month.
8 People with no regard for others can throw whole cities into turmoil. Those who are wise keep things calm.
11 Stupid people express their anger openly, but sensible people are patient and hold it back.
15 Correction and discipline are good for children. If a child has his own way, he will make his mother ashamed of him.
17 Discipline your son and you can always be proud of him. He will never give you reason to be ashamed.
20 There is more hope for a stupid fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.
21 People with quick tempers cause a lot of quarreling and trouble.
What gives the Bible it’s authority and credibility? There are two things.
- First, it is the divinely inspired word of God.
- Second, it stands the test of time; it never has been proven wrong.
John Clifford said, “I’m convinced that the Bible will outlast the critics of every age.” He wrote this poem to prove his point.
I paused last eve beside the blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring, the vespers chime,
and looking in I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had?” said I,
To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” he answered. Then with twinkling eye:
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
And so, I thought, the anvil of God’s word
For ages skeptics blows have beat upon,
But though the noise of falling blows was heard
The anvil is unchanged; the hammer gone.
Not only do I believe in God, I believe God! The Bible describes wisdom as knowing and doing right. Knowing what is right is not enough. Doing right proves your wisdom. It also makes ones life so much easier, happier, and prosperous. The authority on right and wrong is the Bible.
References: Good News Study Bible, Copyright 1986 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Old Testament: Copyright 1976 American Bible Society
You can read Proverbs and the Bible online at www.BibleGateway.com