The Real How-to Book

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Some of you may remember the plethora of self-help books that flooded book shelves in the early 80s. Got a problem? There’s a book with a fix for that.

A book I purchased at the time was The Messies Manual. When searching for links I noticed Messies has been updated. Guess there are a lot of messy people out there. 😉

While I purchased this book with every intention of reading, highlighting, and putting into practice the wisdom held within their pages, I didn’t.

I managed to get to page 96 before I placed the book in the drawer of my nightstand…and left it there until today. I have pages underlined up to the section on appliances.

I underlined Don’t forget to vacuum the refrigerator coils regularly…the refrigerator has coils?

Remember to clean the drip pan under the refrigerator regularly…seriously?

Who was I kidding? Sissy may have done that, but not me.

My house keeping skills, or lack of, are dismal, and believe me I used to beat myself up over that fact many a day. I tried. Man, I tried, but I never seemed to get it right. Over the years I’ve learned to let it go. Partly because I truly don’t have the energy or strength for it anymore.

There was a time, however, when my house looked pretty spiffy. I threw myself into scrubbing and scouring. Picking up and putting away. That was during a very unhappy time in my life and I falsely believed looking good on the outside was the important thing. When on the inside, I was completely falling apart.

While my hope in buying that how-to book was to make necessary changes, I found the real changes that needed to be made were in my relationship to God and how he viewed me as his child. I needed to see me as Jesus saw me.

I needed to beware of what I allowed to define me.

My worth isn’t wrapped up in a clean house or any other earthly thing. My worth comes from the fact I am someone Jesus loved enough to take all my sin upon his sinless self.

I’m worthy enough for Jesus to die a horrific death on the cross to pay the penalty for the debt I owed but could never pay.

And so are you.

It doesn’t matter if we are a messy, or not. It doesn’t matter how much dust, or sin, has accumulated under our bed. It doesn’t matter if cobwebs collect in every corner of the house reminding us of our failures, like a scene of Miss Havisham’s house in Charles Dickens’, Great Expectations.

It doesn’t matter if we fall as long as we fall at the feet of Jesus.

There is one how-to book that can truly help us make the changes we need to make. It’s called the Bible.

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Remember my words with your whole being. Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign; tie them on your foreheads to remind you. Teach them well to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 (NCV)

I wish you well.


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