This article stems from another article I wrote entitled: It All Starts With How You Think (Philosophy). If you haven’t read it or need a recap, the following is an overview.
The way we think things are (our philosophies), determines how we behave and our behavior determines our outcomes in life. Unfortunately, most of us never decided on our philosophies. They were formed from what we saw and heard as we grew up. Bad philosophies result in bad outcomes, while good philosophies result in good outcomes. To improve our lives, it is necessary to review our philosophies and correct the ones that are keeping us from succeeding.
Your Philosophy of The Bible
Knowing what you know about philosophy. Ask yourself the following questions. What is my philosophy of The Bible? Where did it come from? Is it the right or best one? These questions are important because your philosophy of The Bible will determine:
- If You Read Any of It – Some people don’t read the Bible at all because they think it’s a fiction book, a book for religious people only or simply a book that wouldn’t have any value in their life. On the other hand, some read it because they are believers or grew up in a Christian home.
- When You Read It – Depending on if you read The Bible privately or as the first task of the day reflects the importance you place on it.
- What Parts of It You Read – Some people think that only the new testament is relevant and so they ignore the old testament. Some people avoid confusing sections or parts that make them uncomfortable.
- Why You Read It – Some read it for academic reasons, some to feel good about themselves, and some think it makes a positive difference in their life.
The Bible Is Like A Manual For Life
From my personal experience reading The Bible, I’ve come to think of it as a manual for life. Manuals have instructions that prevent trial and error, warnings that help avoid accidents, and guarantees that make readers aware of capabilities they may have otherwise never discovered.
Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t read manuals or we only read them when we are stuck. By doing so, we end up wasting time and inflicting undue misery upon ourselves. While I’m not sure why we ignore manuals at times, I’m sure we can all agree that reading the manual from the start is the best thing to do.
My understanding of this and my view of the Bible as a manual for life, has caused me to start reading as much of what it says in advance of life’s happenings. How has this been working for me?
An Example From Experience
I’ve had many experiences where my philosophy of The Bible as a manual for life has made me more successful. In one instance, there was a neighbor who placed tv boxes next to my trash bins. Although this could have been easily overlooked, where I’m from empty TV boxes attract thieves and aren’t picked up by the garbage collection. Furthermore, it was only a few months after my wife and I moved to the neighborhood so I felt like I had to stand my ground.
I had many thoughts about how I would handle the situation. My ideas ranged from keeping silent and disposing of the boxes myself, up to throwing them on my neighbor’s beautiful grass.
The ideas were all the philosophies I had acquired from others over the years for handling situations like these. But in addition to all the ideas I thought about, I remembered the way The Bible instructed believers to respond when another believer sinned against them. It states:
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.”Matthew 18:15-17 (NLT)
This verse in Proverbs also came to mind:
“Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative’s house when disaster strikes you– better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away.”Proverbs 27:10 (NIV)
Now obviously my neighborhood wasn’t a church and although my neighbor was a very nice lady, I wasn’t sure if she was a believer. Despite this, I decided to take the Bible’s approach. After nervously waiting for the right moment, I called out to my neighbor and said gently “I need to speak with you.”
I told her my concerns about the TV boxes and she promptly apologized and advised the member of the household who placed boxes there, to remove them. The neighbor and my family continue to have a respectful and friendly relationship to this day. Would you say The Bible’s approach was a success in that situation?
Depending on how much your philosophy for handling offense differs from the one in The Bible, handling the same situation, in the same way, might be more difficult for you. We all live life according to our philosophies and may argue about which one is better. I’m believing more and more that the ones in The Bible are best. What do you think about trying them?
As I conclude, I want to state that trying new things can be scary and it’s often difficult to get out of one’s comfort zone. But if your currently not, I urge you to adopt the philosophy of The Bible in each area of your life. As one of the psalms read:
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man that trusts in Him!”Psalm 34:8 (KJV)