I came across a bag of keys collected over a few decades. The keys were from cars, apartments, houses, and offices that my wife and children and I have had over the years.
From one perspective, the bag of keys represented and summarized our life history. There were keys from automobiles, apartments, houses, offices, filing cabinets, padlocks, etc. Looking at them brought back many memories of our lives. The metal keys that locked and unlocked doors and drawers decades ago were worn, but still intact. But the days that had passed only exist in our memories. I well remember my father commenting in reflection during a family visit: “Where did all the years go?”
I gave the keys to our grandsons. There is something captivating about a big ring of jangling keys. They will play with them for a little while. Eventually they may collect their own “keys of their lives.”
I suppose I could play my “Senior Card” and share my philosophy about life and “keys to living.” I could offer some homespun “wisdom” that simply restates the common sense knowledge that most of us have learned from our parents, teachers and friends, and perhaps from the “School of Hard Knocks” we all seem to spend a semester or two attending. But, I’ll spare you!
You can look on the Internet and find numerous book titles with the words “Keys to…” this or that. Many areas of knowledge can be broken down to essential, key elements. Music, art, history, math, physics, philosophy, etc., all have essential keys to understanding that subject.
Most of us like to “boil subjects down” to the elemental keys. We know that if we understand and master those keys, we will have a good, basic understanding of the subject. I suppose that is what makes ubiquitous guide books like “CliffsNotes”, “SparkNotes”, “A Complete Idiot’s Guide to …” and “… for Dummies” books so popular. Millions of copies on many different subjects have been sold. Students prize them as time-saving “shortcuts” eliminating the necessity to reading the book. They have the summation of key points in a guide book.
Professors know there is no substitute for actually reading and studying an original work to gain the maximum benefit. This is even truer of the Holy Bible, the living Word of God.
Regarding the Holy Bible, yes, there is a “CliffsNotes on The Bible” book. There is a “The Bible for Dummies” book. And there is a “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Bible” book. But just as simple guide books have been criticized for superficiality in attempting to summarize the key points of an original work, these guide books are certainly no substitute for reading the Holy Bible.
Christ said, “…It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4). We are to live by “every word,” not just a summation of the “key” points. In order to live by every word, we must read and study every word.
Paul wrote to Timothy, saying, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Just having a summary is not the same.
The scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees and Satan himself all tried to test Jesus on different occasions. Only by knowing the Holy Scriptures was Jesus able to defeat their false reasoning. On one occasion the Sadducees came and asked him a question about the resurrection. Christ responded to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures…” (Matthew 22:29).
There are keys to our lives—but there is no shortcut. We must read and live by every Word of God. Please read and take advantage of the many free booklets and articles available at TomorrowsWorld.org. And, be sure to watch “Keys to Happiness” to start unlocking the door to a better life…