The Car Analogy for Christian Living
The Car and the Human Being
A stationary car has the potential to go anywhere, however, by itself it cannot move. It needs a driver with an ignition key to start the car engine, engage the gear and step on the gas for the car to move. The car is also fitted with controls: A steering wheel for turning and direction, the accelerator to control the speed and brakes to stop it. All these need a driver to coordinate.
If the driver of a car starts the engine, engages the gear and then steps out of the car, the car will still move until either it hits a wall or something. This means that the car is capable of moving, on its own, but it will definitely cause damage.
Also if the driver is incapacitated in any way, he or she will not be able to control the car effectively and may cause an accident which may cause injury to self and others. Incapacitation can be caused by;
Lack of proper training on how to drive or handle the car. (Proper driving instructions are gained at a driving school. Additionally, every car has an instruction manual or owner’s manual on how to handle the car for best performance.)
Excessive use of intoxicating substances (alcohol, drugs etc.)
Similarly, the human body can take you anywhere, but it needs instruction from the mind. The mind in humans functions like the car engine. It can instruct the body to do anything when it receives a signal from its environment. The human mind needs the human spirit to give it the signal or instruction on how to react or what to do at any particular moment. If the mind is left to act alone, it can cause damage to the body. The spirit therefore provides the control and functions in the same way as the car driver. If the human spirit is incapacitated in any way, it can cause injury to the body and result to death of self or others.
Our human spirit is therefore the driver of our bodies and provides control on the way we react to the stimuli from our environment.
A diving license from the authorities signals that a diver has met the minimum requirements which include:
• Ability to effectively handle a car,
• Knowledge and understanding of road user regulations or traffic rules.
In some countries, where corruption is rife, one may get a driver’s license without going through the mandatory diving school. Your guess is as good as mine. This driver may not last long on the roads out there.
In the case of human beings, we gain our driver’s license at home. A child’s values and behavior are shaped by the home environment. By the time the child becomes a young adult, these learned values will shape his or her existence and how he or she relates in the world. The child learns the Do’s and Don’ts from the parents or guardians.
When parents neglect their parental duties of teaching their young ones and leaving them to the TV, play stations etc., this is a similar scenario to buying a driver’s license for your children. When they all grownup, they will probably not last long out there.
On the other hand, the car’s owner’s manual provides detailed instructions on how to handle the car for optimal performance. For human beings, God’s word is our owner’s manual. The bible provides the truths to live by. The word of God feeds our human spirit with the truths and right knowledge on how to control our vehicles (bodies). These truths provide a guideline on how to maintain and keep our vehicles in top condition. The bible addresses all areas critical to maintaining a healthy balance for our lives. These include but are not limited to: Spiritual wellbeing, Health wellbeing, lifestyle wellbeing, financial wellbeing, career wellbeing and family wellbeing.
Let’s take a look at some simple and important health laws found in the Bible:
Eat your meals at regular intervals: Blessed is the land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time— for strength and not for drunkenness. (Ecclesiastes 10:17)
Don't overeat: When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive. (Proverbs 23:1-3)
Make mealtime a happy time: And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:13)
Don't harbor envy or hold grudges : A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones (Proverbs 14:30)
Maintain a cheerful, happy disposition: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
Balance work and exercise with sleep and rest: Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (Exodus 20:9-10)
What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23)
In vain you rise early and stay up late; toiling for food to eat— for He grants sleep to those he loves. (Psalm 127:2)
Keep your body clean: Depart, depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and be pure, you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house. (Isaiah 52:11)
Be temperate in all things: Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:25)
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (Philippians 4:5)
Bury body waste to avoid disease: “You shall also have a place outside the camp and go out there, 13 and you shall have a spade among your tools, and it shall be when you sit down outside, you shall dig with it and shall turn to cover up your excrement.” (Deuteronomy 23:12-13)
Avoid eating animals that die by themselves: “ Anyone, whether native-born or foreigner, who eats anything found dead or torn by wild animals must wash their clothes and bathe with water, and they will be ceremonially unclean till evening; then they will be clean”. (Leviticus 17:15)
Do not eat animal fat or blood: “ This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.” (Leviticus 3:17)
But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. (Deuteronomy 12:16)
Those who break God's rules regarding the care of the body will reap broken bodies and burned-out lives. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7). God's health laws are not arbitrary. They are natural, established laws of the universe, like the law of gravity. Ignoring these laws always brings disastrous results.
Therefore reading the word of God regularly is like taking driving lessons periodically to sharpen our driving skills. The word of God helps us to take control. We know when to slow down, when to move and when to stop.
Our bodies have the ability to do what we ask of them. However our spirit must be in control to avoid harming ourselves.
The road represents our thoughts. There are smooth all-weather tarmac roads and rough roads. When you drive on a smooth tarmac road, you can cruise at a high speed and still have good control of the vehicle. When you drive on a bumpy-rough road, you need to take extra care; otherwise you will ruin the car or worse veer off and cause an accident.
The road we take is like the thought stream in our minds. Good and healthy thoughts (inspired by God’s word) give us a smooth ride in life. Even when we encounter, rough patches, steep or winding potions of the road, we are able to navigate safely because the word of God is like the road sign and keeps us informed all the way. We are able to keep ourselves safe and we also do not risk the lives of other road users (our spouse, children, colleagues, neighbors etc.)
The opposite is true. When we do not know God’s truth, the enemy occupies our mind with lies. It is like driving on a rough road or on a road without road signs or worse still a road with fake road signs. In this case, we put our lives and the lives of other road users (our loved ones, friends, colleagues etc.) in danger as well as destroy the vehicle.
In summary, The more time you spend on God’s word, the more you become competent in matters of life and the more fulfilling is your life. Spending time reading God’s words will also help you to develop capacity to hear God’s voice.
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