Education for Life
“The Bible [is] the supreme guide in the art of living.”—Thomas Tiplady, 1924.
IT IS no exaggeration to say that a Bible-based education can transform lives. It has brought meaning and hope to those who have known emptiness and desperation. A single parent from the country of Namibia wrote to the South Africa branch of Jehovah’s Witnesses:
“I am 29 years old, and I read the book Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work in just two days. It touched my heart deeply because I am really lonely. My boyfriend died in a car accident and left me with two kids. We are suffering very much. I sometimes used to think it would be better to kill them and then myself. But when I got this book, I changed my mind. Please help me with a free Bible study.”
The Bible is a guidebook that can help people succeed in every area of life—in relationships with their family, their workmates, and people in the community. (Psalm 19:7; 2 Timothy 3:16) It provides sound guidance on how to pursue what is good and to avoid what is bad. It is a book that deals realistically with life. As you read it, you will find that it is full of accounts about real people. You will see what made the lives of some happy and rewarding and of others painful and miserable. It will become plain to you which things are worthwhile and which are not.
Education for Life Now
The Bible emphasizes the importance of practical wisdom. It says: “Wisdom is the prime thing. Acquire wisdom.” (Proverbs 4:7) It also acknowledges that humans often lack wisdom, and so it admonishes: “If any one of you is lacking in wisdom, let him keep on asking God, for he gives generously to all.”—James 1:5.
How does our Creator, Jehovah God, give wisdom generously? He does so by means of his Word, the Bible, which he encourages us to read. God appeals: “My son, if you will receive my sayings and treasure up my own commandments with yourself, so as to pay attention to wisdom . . . , you will understand the fear of Jehovah, and you will find the very knowledge of God. For Jehovah himself gives wisdom.” (Proverbs 2:1, 2, 5, 6) When we apply the counsel found in God’s Word and see how practical it is, we realize that it truly reflects divine wisdom.
Take, for example, the matter of coping with poverty. The Bible recommends industriousness and warns against pursuits that waste limited resources. Thus, such vices as the use of tobacco and overindulgence in alcoholic beverages are clearly contrary to Bible principles.—Proverbs 6:6-11; 10:26; 23:19-21; 2 Corinthians 7:1.
What about the effect that our companions can have on our lives? The Bible says: “He that is walking with wise persons will become wise, but he that is having dealings with the stupid ones will fare badly.” (Proverbs 13:20) Have you observed that peer pressure has often led people—young and old alike—into drunkenness, drug abuse, and immorality? Yes, if we mix with ones who practice such things, we will become like them, even as the Bible says: “Bad associations spoil useful habits.”—1 Corinthians 15:33.
Surely, all of us want to be happy. But how is that possible? Did you realize that the Bible says that it is not necessarily things that can make us happy but, rather, proper attitudes and relationships, particularly a good relationship with God? (1 Timothy 6:6-10) Jesus Christ, in his famous Sermon on the Mount, said that those who are truly happy are “conscious of their spiritual need,” “mild-tempered,” “thirsting for righteousness,” “merciful,” “pure in heart,” and “peaceable.”—Matthew 5:1-9.
When you think deeply about the teachings of the Bible, you will appreciate how they can help guide our lives. As a source of advice, the Bible is unique. Its counsel is always beneficial—it is never merely theoretical and never works to our harm. Those who apply what the Bible advises always benefit.
Education for Life
Yet, in addition to being of benefit to us right now, the Bible provides hope for life in the future. It tells of a dramatic cleansing of the earth and a transforming of it into a gorgeous home for those who serve God. Note this heartwarming account of the future: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his peoples. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:3, 4; Proverbs 2:21, 22.
Just think: No more sickly children, no more starvation, no more dreaded diseases that sap the body’s strength, no more biting pain! Tears of frustration, disappointment, and grief will vanish, as the conditions causing such things will be changed or removed. Since willfully wicked people will have been destroyed by God’s angelic forces, the thieves, murderers, liars, and others who make life insecure will no longer exist. People will be able to have their own homes and enjoy them in security.—Isaiah 25:8, 9; 33:24; 65:17-25.
Does that sound good to you? Would you like to learn more about applying Bible principles so that you can benefit yourself now and in the future? If so, please contact Jehovah’s Witnesses, and they will be glad to include you and your family in their global “education for life” program.