Technical support workers will tell you most problems with computers could be avoided by following the instructions. When the manual says to do X and our natural instinct is to do Y, we humans have a tendency to follow our own ideas. Then our stuff breaks and we call tech support. After 30 or 40 minutes listening to a recording tell us how important our call is, when the support person answers, most of the time they will lead us through the process of following the instructions.
Same thing applies with following Jesus. For example, you have a terrible conflict with someone at church and go to your prayer place to “call up Tech Support.”
“This is God; how can I help you?”
“____________ is such an unpleasant person and I can’t get along with them.”
“How did you handle it? Did you go to them by yourself and discuss it?”
“Well, no, I talked it over with my friends at Bible study.”
“Me, gossip? Oh, no; it was just explaining the situation for a prayer request.”
“Nope, that’s gossip. It messes everything up. That’s why it says don’t do it in the instructions. How about returning a blessing fot their unpleasant behavior, have you tried that?”
“Are You serious? A blessing? How’s that going to help?”
“Give it a shot; it’s in the instructions…”
And so forth…
When people read computer instructions and then ignore them, chances are pretty good they are going to be waiting on hold for a half-hour for customer service to pick up. It’s just as true with the Bible. That’s why they should post these words over the exits from the church as a reminder to folks on the way out:
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22)
Beauteous Tom. Thanks.