“Some assembly required”. Those dreaded words, feared by every parent. The new toy or widget looks so great on the packaging, but is a nightmare to put together. There are a thousand tiny parts, and the meaning of the instructions are lost in a very bad translation to English. It’s the night before your child’s birthday, the kids have finally gone to sleep, you’re exhausted, up late and just want to get this thing put together so you can go to bed.
So you impatiently jump in, push the directions to the side, and try to figure it out. When you’re done, there are extra parts left over, and the item either doesn’t work, or tries to self-destruct when you turn it on. Hmmmm, back to the drawing board. Where did I toss those instructions??
So why are we so quick to disregard the manufacturer’s instructions? Why do we want to try to figure it out on our own?
– Impatience? (“ain’t got no time for that!”)
– Pride? (“I’m smart – I can figure this out”)
– Fear? (“those directions scare me – I’m going to try it my way first”)
God gives us instructions for living life here on earth. His instruction book? The Bible! The book of Proverbs is a collection of knowledge and wisdom that Solomon wrote down to pass along to his children. Solomon’s frequent teaching style in Proverbs is to use contrast to show positive and negative consequences of not heeding his instructions.
Here’s a great example:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 – NIV)
Sound familiar? When we toss aside the manufacturer’s instructions, Solomon calls us “fools”. Ouch! God is our “manufacturer”, our Maker, and He knows best how we should live. But often, for various reasons, we push aside His instructions and decide to do life independently, on our own. And the results speak for themselves.
Thankfully, God is loving and gracious toward us, and is always ready to forgive us and offers His instructions again. So we get up, dust ourselves off, forgive ourselves, and consult God’s instruction manual to see what He has to say, and try living life His way.
What’s your choice today? Have you consulted God’s instruction manual, or are you you doing life your way?