Some individuals are not too keen on reading the Bible or learning what it has to say. Why is that? Because they are persuaded that the Bible’s message does not have any connection with everyday life. As some express it, “The Bible’s teaching is just not very practical.”
Such a conclusion is faulty. To say that something is “practical” means that it is usable; it can be applied. That certainly describes the Bible.
The big-picture view of the Bible is that its message is centered around (1) the God of heaven, (2) what the God of heaven has done on behalf of mankind, and (3) His will/desire for humans. Granted, not every single Bible verse or chapter has direct statements about how to make our choices and what kind of conduct we ought to have, but the sentiment that the Bible’s teaching is “out of touch” with daily life is inaccurate.
There are an abundance of Bible sections which deal extensively with practical matters, giving instruction that needs to be put into use in our lives. To disprove the notion that the Bible is void of any usable material in real-life scenarios, we will take a quick look at one Bible passage – Ephesians 4:25-32.
Is it applicable, something-I-can-use-in-my- daily-life instruction that you are seeking? If so, then the Lord has provided just what you are looking for in Ephesians 4:25-32. Here is a sample of what we find in this down-to-earth message:
Be honest – “Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor . . .” (4:25). Telling the truth or not telling the truth as we deal with others: is that not a practical issue?
Keep anger under control – “Be angry, and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (4:26). Have you ever heard of a human struggling to practice self-control, especially his temper?! God’s instruction sounds pretty practical to me.
Do not allow the tempter to have his way – “nor give place to the devil” (4:27).
Do not be a thief and take that which belongs to other people – “Let him who stole steal no longer” (4:28).
Be ready to work to provide for our needs – Rather than steal, “. . . let him labor, working with his hands what is good . . .” (4:28).
Remove profanity and filth from our speech habits – “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth” (4:29).
Use our tongues to say things that benefit those who hear our words – “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (4:29).
Show respect to the Godhead – “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit . . .” (4:30).
Let our hearts be free from bitter, evil thoughts – “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice” (4:31). Do bitterness, wrath, and evil words disrupt harmony and harm relationships? They certainly do. Does the instruction to put these things away not have a practical application?!
Be nice to people – “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted . . .” (4:32). Common decency and courtesy in dealing with our fellow man are never outdated and never unneeded.
Have a forgiving spirit – “. . . forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (4:32). If I have received forgiveness from God the Father through His Son, and if I truly appreciate that forgiveness, then surely I will have a heart that is ready to forgive those who trespass against me.
What we have observed in Ephesians 4:25-32 covers a broad spectrum of instructions which have “practical” written all over them. We read about:
- Proper thinking (get rid of bitterness, 4:31)
- Proper speech (tell the truth, 4:25)
- Proper dealings with others (be kind to one another, 4:21)
- Proper action (work, 4:28)
- Proper respect for God (not grieve His Spirit, 4:30).
The Bible is “running over” with practical instructions. When we hear that someone thinks the Scriptures are “just not very practical,” it makes us wonder how much time such a person has spent examining God’s word and how open- minded he has been when doing so.
— Roger D. Campbell