I have been painting some wooden fish for one of our school mothers to sell. The fish were previously painted, but now they were faded, chipped and even scribbled on. As I was painting, some spiritual lessons came to my mind.
1. You need a standard. I had most of the colours I needed, but some I had to mix. It was fun to combine a couple of colours and see the new colour. The problem came the next day when I needed to paint the other side. I couldn’t remember the amounts of each paint that I had used the day before. Not having a standard I had to rely on my ability to visually match the colour.
I started thinking how easy it is in the spiritual realm to use my own “sight” to check things. Matching colours by sight instead of by standard isn’t a serious thing. I got the colours to blend pretty well, but without a standard I will never know if my “sight” was true. Other issues of my life aren’t going to go well unless I follow the standard. The standard that will always remain the same is the Bible. I need to match my life to its teaching.
2. You need the right instruments. To do this painting I needed different sized brushes. The problem was that I couldn’t remember where I had put my nice set of brushes. So I started off by using some children’s brushes, a pin head, a needle and the end of a brush. When I found my nice brushes, it was so much easier to do the work, and it turned out nicer.
In life it is so much easier to use our reasoning ability or to use someone else’s ideas to solve problems . They will not provide us with the best results. The instruments that will work the best are found in the Bible. It will take some time to find them. If you are really interested in having the best tools in your heart, mind and life, keep reading the Bible. You will find them.
3. You need a pattern. Some of the fish had markings that often got painted over when I painted another colour. When I had to paint the markings, I didn’t always remember the design. Since I didn’t have the original stencil or pattern, I had to try to visually make the design and match the two sides. I did not do this very well.
While I was painting these fish, I thought about patterns to follow. It is good to have a godly Christian to look to as your example. Since they are people too, they are just as likely to sin as you or I. I started wishing that I knew how this person or this other person handled the temptations in their lives. What Scripture helped them keep from sinning? Then I remembered that it would probably not be a good thing for me to know details of another person’s sin. Besides I knew enough about these people to know that they depended on God and His Word to keep them from sin. The pattern I needed to follow was not the person, but the God they themselves depended on.
4. Be careful. As I painted one side of the fish, I carefully turned it so I could do the other side. Many times I carefully turned it by putting my finger in the freshly painted part. I needed to put a lot more thought into even a simple thing like turning a painted fish.
In our lives we need to be careful, yet we are often careless. We think a thing is simple, so we don’t do it with care or purpose. We just do it. We need to live more carefully and thoughtfully. Getting a little paint on my finger didn’t seem so bad until I accidentally touched my clothes. We need to be careful, even a small thing in our lives that is wrong can cause trouble. The Bible will help us to live purposefully, correctly and successfully.