PRINCIPLES FROM THE BOOK
According to Merriam-Webster, a principle is a basic truth or theory; an idea that forms the basis of something. It is also defined as a law or fact of nature that explains how something works or why something happens. The more you understand the principles of a system, the better situated you are to take advantage of it. Scientists study the principles of physics to understand matter and its motion through time and space so we can harness the potential of the earth we live on.
Now imagine if there were a perfect manual that clearly spells out the principles of life; how easier life would be! I do not ask you to believe the Bible is the manual of life, but I will referring to the Book frequently in the series and I guarantee this content is not
just for Christians. Okay? Okay.
The Bible is a collection of divinely inspired texts in Judaism and Christianity. It is a collection of stories, anecdotes, proverbs, psalms, parables etc. written at different times by different authors in different locations. The Christian Bible is primarily put together as a guide for the followers of Christ, who adhere to its teaching and principles, to have better lives on this earth and also be prepared for life after.
So if the Bible is primarily put together for Christians, why will I be writing a series of Bible-based articles for a readership that is not
just Christian? Well, over the years, I have come to conclude that the Bible is loaded with many life principles that are applicable to non-Christians. You don’t have to believe in Jesus as the son of God (who was sent to this world to die for your sins) in order to observe and apply some of the lessons/theories/principles in the Christian Bible for an improved life. I present an example of such universal principle in the following two paragraphs:
A wise man said in the book of Proverbs 23:7a (KJV) “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” succinctly describing the power of a man’s thoughts in defining who he is. Not just a fleeting moment that passes in the mind but the dominant everyday thoughts a man dwells on describes who he is or shapes who he eventually becomes. A parallel and more verbose Chinese proverb (attributed to Gandhi on some webpages) reads: “Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.”
The wise man also said in Proverbs 4:23 (AMP) “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life” and Paul admonished in his letter to the Philippians 4:8 (NIV) “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” The principle in this is that what you allow in your mind/heart goes a long way in defining your life, Solomon and Paul exhort us to be mindful of what we allow in our heart and what we allow our mind to think about (dwell on). The gateway to your mind are your eyes and ears. You cannot always choose what you hear, but you can decide on what and who to listen to; you cannot always choose what you see, but you can decided on what to view and focus on.
My objective in this series is to expound on various principles from the Bible that are applicable in our day-to-day life. On the face level, some of these principles can be appropriately labeled common sense, but I hope to go beyond a shallow explanation because I know (as
a scientist an engineer) that the theories or concepts that stick with me most are the ones I have deeper understanding of, and it is way easier to apply those for practical purposes.
I will be doing you a disservice if I end this introduction without sharing these words from Jesus: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me” – John 5:39 (NIV).