One project for the Christian to do is understand what the Bible says. Then comes the work of figuring out how we use what we find in its pages. Recently someone said a line that made me think of a new analogy. The Bible might be best understood as a toolbox
- A Toolbox Does Nothing by Itself. You can own the biggest, best, most expensive toolset in the world, but that does not mean you are skilled at using any of the items inside. Similarly, owning a study Bible, Bible app, or software does not mean anything.
- You Must be Trained to Use the Tools Properly. I remember looking through a skilled mechanics toolbox at a job I had once, and he would explain to me how each one worked and why it was essential to own. It would have been challenging to pick them up and use them without guidance. We must learn how to handle the scripture properly.
- The Right Tools Must Be Applied to The Right Situation. A skilled worker knows when to use what tool. Through years of practice and experience, they have learned which tools are best used to accomplish the task. In the same way, we must learn how and when to apply the passages of scripture. It takes knowledge and skill to bring maximum effectiveness to broken situations.
- Not All Tools Work in All Situation. A wrench that removes your oil filter is no help when changing a tire. An Old Testament passage may have great lessons but is little help in a discussion of New Testament principles. One skill a Bible reader must learn is when to apply and when not to use specific passages.
- You Can Use the Wrong Tool. Have you ever used a screwdriver when you needed a chisel or a paint can opener? Just because a tool seems to fit, that may not mean it was designed to be used for that task. The Bible has many good things to say, and some will seem to apply when, in reality, it is a misuse of the truth.
- Misusing a Tool Can Hurt Yourself and Others. A torch might be an incredibly handy tool in a mechanics workshop, but you keep it out the reach of children. They could take something that is meant for good and use it for evil. The word of God is the same way; misapplication can hurt yourself and others.
- Some Tools Are More Valuable Than Others. A set of screwdrivers, a hammer, a wrench, and a handful of other tools seem to be used every day. While all tools have a use, some are used repeatedly. Also, I want people to know all their Bible, but some passages will be used daily, and others are for when special needs arise.
- Even Though There Can Be Issues, Everyone Needs Tools. I once knew a lady who had a pink case with all her tools. She was no mechanic or carpenter, but even simple jobs sometimes require a tool. You can say, “I don’t read,” and try to ignore the Bible, but everyone needs at least a minimal understanding of what it teaches. You cannot avoid it.
You get the idea. Here are a few of the ways the Bible fits the analogy of a toolbox. You may be able to think of others and add them to my list. Yes, there are some ways it does not fit; all analogies break down at some point. I hope this gives you an image that helps you understand the necessity and importance of knowing that the scripture says.