Life At Its Best: Live life by the Book

Feb. 18, 2011 at midnight
Updated Feb. 17, 2011 at 8:18 p.m.

Jim Graff

Jim Graff

By Jim Graff

Albert Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This is one truth that becomes very obvious to me when I attempt to fix something around our house.

On my wife's and my first Christmas in Victoria, her parents bought us an entertainment cabinet for a new stereo we'd just purchased. I was so excited to get it set up that I wanted to begin work on it immediately. But when Tamara hinted that we should have a friend assemble it for us, I ignored her, convinced that I could fix it alone . and without directions. My persuading proved to be enough, and she finally gave in.

After a couple of tries, I finally got the framework set up. I was extremely excited to finish, but even more excited to revel in that "I told you so" moment with my wife. As I neared the end of the project, I noticed that there was one final step. It seemed simple enough: Attach the glass to the front of the door. Well, it wasn't so simple. I couldn't get it to fit. So, I came up with a plan. I'd simply tap on the door with a hammer, and it would fall into place. Great idea, huh? Not exactly. As you can guess, the glass shattered across the floor, while I struggled to keep my composure. I wanted to throw that cabinet against the wall.

As Tamara was sure to remind me that day, a manual serves an important purpose. It's not there to criticize someone's skills or to question their knowledge. It's simply a guide to help them experience a product the way it was meant to be experienced and to enjoy it to its full extent. But what good is that manual if its directions are disregarded?

God's Word is His instruction manual to us. It tells us just how to pattern our life, so that we can experience it in the most fulfilling way possible. But though He desires to upgrade our lives through His truth, whether He does relies solely on our response. Will we accept His teaching? Or will we consistently take matters into our own hands, despite undesirable results? As Einstein said, we can't change our outcome unless we first change our habits. We'll never upgrade our life until we accept His truth, gaining new insights that empower new habits in our lives.

Isaiah 55:9 says, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." With God on your side and with His proven instructions to guide us, there's no way we can lose. Sure, we have real problems, but there's also a real God with real truth that can end our oppression and establish blessing. So live your life by the Book. Make an effort to adopt His standard, and you'll experience the incredible life you're longing for.

Jim Graff is the Senior Pastor of Faith Family Church in Victoria, Texas.



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