Have many times have you heard, “just trust me on this”? Advice comes from all sorts of sources but it’s not all created equal. When it comes to the changes and challenges of life, there is only one source for advice and instruction that always illuminates the path ahead of us.
I have been a fan, for little while now, of The Babylon Bee, “Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire”. Their caricatures are spot on, as anyone will tell you, who has spent any amount of time within the Christian popular subculture, especially in North America. More than once I’ve laughed out loud while reading their articles and then shared them. Well, here I go again…
Recently, they posted, “The TL;DR Edition Of All 66 Books Of The Bible”. I had to look it up. “TL;DR” stands for “too long; didn’t read”, an acronym of the Twitter-age too funny in itself. The author(s) summarised every book of the Bible into a short, pithy sentence. Some examples include:
- Genesis – God makes everything and it’s really good for about 3.2 seconds.
- Ruth – The Bachelorette: Hebrew Edition.
- Job – Hebrew country music song.
- Song of Solomon – Go ask your parents.
- Matthew – Peter does dumb stuff, Jesus is the Messiah.
- Mark – Peter does dumb stuff, Jesus is the suffering Servant.
- Luke – Peter does dumb stuff, Jesus is the Son of Man.
- John – Peter does dumb stuff, Jesus is the Son of God.
- Revelation – Kirk Cameron fights the Antichrist in order to save Christmas from the new world order. Thanks, Kirk!
Granted, to catch all the humour you have to have read the Bible and studied it a bit at some time. It will also help if you have participated in the Christian popular subculture to some degree. Even if neither of these are true for you, it is easy to catch the sarcasm not just of the summaries themselves but directed at those who would desire the Bible’s message be reduced to more bite-sized chunks.
It is a sad truth that for life’s difficulties we prefer simple solutions pandering to our innate laziness. For something as important as knowing the difference between good and evil, your life just may depend on going a little deeper than a pithy summary.
In our Internet age, it is too easy to find advice for anything and everything. From YouTube videos to self-help-books-for-the-masses to podcasts with the latest tips and tricks for the easy life, simple advice is easy to come by. No advice stands the test of time like that found in the Bible:
Your word is a lamp for my feet
and a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105)
According to the writer of these words, the advice he found in the Bible acted like a torch that illuminates the path immediately in front of him. It doesn’t always tell us what is far ahead but its warm glow provides comfort and confidence for taking the next steps.
The changes and challenges we face can make life difficult. They are made more difficult when we are not prepared, when we don’t know what to do in such situations before they arise. While we can’t know everything about everything, even those things likely to rear their ugly heads, we can seek out proven wisdom and gain from the experience of others in advance.
If you have ever been inclined to watch a YouTube video for how to…, read a book by the self-help guru du jour, or listened to a podcast interviewing a self-made man, I get it. I watch, read, and listen too! But I always return to the book whose advice has stood the test of time. In the Bible are stories of successful men and failed men. There are people whose virtue was unparalleled and those who were clearly rat bags! There is wisdom to be mined from its depths and clear instructions for when to do this and when to avoid that.
Yet, to learn how to be good and avoid evil, one needs to spend time with the Bible’s stories and extract every last morsel of inspiration for lifestyle. You cannot just skim its pages and hope to land on something good. Read a little bit each day or read a lot. Stick with the source you can trust!
What is your favourite piece of wisdom you have gained from reading the Bible? Share it in the comments below so we can all gain a little light for our path.