Few things will irritate a coach like not knowing your playbook or the signals or whatever a coach might use. These are designed to help the coach communicate with his players during the game without giving away valuable information. Yet, there are always those who choose not to learn the playbook or the signals. What got me to thinking about this was I read an article about a young man who chooses not to take his Bible to church. His premise was the if he takes his Bible with him to church, he doesn’t listen to the preacher because he is reading his Bible. Let me say two things at the outset. First of all, I don’t know if this young man studies his Bible throughout the week and simply doesn’t take it to church or not. Secondly, I don’t want to come off a judgmental or that I am somehow better than he is because I take my Bible to church (not just because I am a preacher). His article got me to thinking because in it he said, “I want to know the Bible better so I choose to listen to the preacher rather than be distracted by having my Bible in my hand.” How many people or how many times have you said, “I wish I knew the Bible better”? For a Christian, the Bible is our playbook. It was written by our coach (God) and given for us not just to look at, but to study, and to memorize so that as we are playing in the game, God can communicate with us to let us know what He desires us to do. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” There is a two-fold implication of “study to shew thyself approved.” First, we should study our Bible so that we are approved by God, because as His children we should desire to know Him more and the easiest way to get to know God more is by studying His word. Secondly, we should study our Bible so that we can “approve” others messages that we hear. That is not to say that we should judge whether a preacher or teacher did a good job. Rather it means that we should be able to say “yes this is from the Bible, taught in context, and useful in my life.” So many people get led astray not because they are not intelligent, but rather because they choose to be ignorant of God’s word. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible teaches us what we should believe (doctrine), what we do wrong in God’s eyes (reproof), how to fix it (correction), and most importantly how to be saved (instruction in righteousness). In other words, in God’s word is contained everything we would ever need in order to live a life that honors and pleases God.
The enemy of learning the playbook for players can be many things. If you want to get more playing time, you must know the playbook. When it comes to a Christian not learning more of the Bible, it comes down to one thing, we don’t spend enough time in God’s word. We may read it, but we are not studying it. So let’s all turn off the distractions, get alone with God’s word, and start studying so that we will be approved by God and used by God.
By His grace and through His strength, may we live for Him!