Monday

If You Want a Good Life--Why Skeptics, Seekers, and Atheists Should Read the Bible

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The loan officer was getting more and more frustrated with my husband and me.

“You have no debt except your car loan, and it’s almost paid off,” he said, waving his hand over our paperwork. “You can afford a house payment of $_____,” and then he named a figure that was significantly higher than what we thought wise. 

“We give to our church every month,” we pointed out. “You didn’t include that in your calculations."

“That’s because that’s discretionary,” he said. “That amount can vary depending on your bills.” 

“No,” we responded, “that’s the one figure that doesn’t vary. The Bible tells us to give regularly and proportionately to God's work, so the money we give to our church is non-negotiable.” 

By the end of our meeting, we had the opportunity to share several other biblical truths that had brought peace and prosperity to our lives. We left him muttering over our figures and scratching his head. 

In my quest to read through the Bible in a year, I read the story of Moses and the exodus. You may remember God had told Abraham that his descendants would be enslaved for 430 years before they would be released to conquer the land of Israel. 

God’s prophecy, as always, came true. 

The Israelites were groaning under the hard labor of the Egyptians when God sent Moses to free them. To accomplish his deliverance and show the Egyptians how powerful he was, God unleashed ten plagues on the unbelieving Egyptians. Each plague increased in strength and severity. 

Because God is long-suffering and “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,” (2 Pet. 3:9) he warned the Egyptians to protect themselves from the damaging hail and fierce lightening.

Some Egyptians listened to his warning. Good thing, because “. . . there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation” (v. 24). Those who disregarded God’s words suffered. So did their families, servants, and livestock. 

This story is a classic example of how skeptics, seekers, and atheists can benefit from the wisdom found in God’s Word. Believers and unbelievers alike can search the Bible, which is the main way God speaks to mankind today, to find principles for financial, relational, and physical well being. And while God’s promises are reserved for believers only, God’s principles apply to everyone. 

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For example, the book of Proverbs contains powerful nuggets of wisdom about everything from how to manage your money*, how to avoid sexual temptation**, and how to choose good friends***. The book of Second Samuel contains a powerful narrative about the slippery slope of extra-marital affairs****, and the book of Ecclesiastes gives excellent advice about how to ensure you reach the end of your life with no regrets. 

I once heard a well-respected and successful business man say, “The Bible is the best handbook I’ve ever read. Everyone, believer and unbeliever, who reads it with an open mind will find wisdom, guidance, and good solid advice.” 

When my husband and I sat in that loan officer’s office and shared the whys behind our financially stable, he was intrigued. When we shared other tidbits of wisdom we'd learned from the Bible, he was even more interested. You may be similarly curious. 

If you want to learn how to manage your money, have successful relationships, and experience joy, I encourage you to read and apply the Word of God. 

You’ll be amazed at the results. 

*Proverbs 3:9-10
**Proverbs 5:8
***Proverbs 13:20
****2 Samuel 11

 

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