A few years back, the Washington Post printed an article that spoke about the reluctance of Americans to read the instructions that come with new products. Too often, consumers struggle with (or even end up returning) items that they can not figure out how to put together and use. Customer service lines get tied up by people asking simple questions that were already explained in the product manual. The systemic outputs are frustrating for the end-user, expensive for customer service departments, and time consuming on both ends.
The reasons why most Americans do not read instructions is no mystery … people want instant satisfaction. They do not want to wade through pages of directions after they buy something, even when the manuals are easy to understand. Basic instructions are considered "boring" by men and women who are relentlessly inundated by ring tones, visual graphics, MMS messages, Twitter, Facebook, MP3 tunes, ad nauseam. They want information delivered in a rapid, colorful and stimulating way, and they expect directions to be equally satisfying.
God's experience with humankind is very similar; we get our self in trouble and wreck havoc on our lives because we can not be bothered to "read the owner's manual" – the Bible. Everything we need to know to live a pleasing life to God is found within the Bible (Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3: 16-17; 2 Peter 1: 3), but how many actually read it? On top of that, how many really apply it to their life?
For many people in contemporary society, the Scriptures just are not entertaining or compelling enough. Granted, the Bible may not read like a Tom Clancy novel, but it's not fictional literature – it is the human "owner's manual". The Bible is man's "directions and operators guide" inspired by the Creator of the Universe! The Bible is concise in the complexities of human existence, and is able to equip us for every good work (II Tim 3: 15-17).
Life is difficult – this is our first time living it, and the knowledge of "how" to live a righteous life is not innate, but must be learned (Proverbs 2: 1-6). Each one of us will be accountable to God, and the Bible will be the benchmark of judgment (John 12:48). The Bible language is crystal, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this judgment (Hebrews 9:27)." When "some assembly is required", read the manual! When things do not work right, read the manual! When questions arise, read the manual (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15)!
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