Following instructions often saves time

Following instructions often saves time

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Some people think I’m rigid in following instructions. If I haven’t performed a certain task before, I will follow as close as I can. If it is a task that I’ve completed numerous times, I’ll incorporate my own short cuts or whatever. However, some instructions are meant to be followed just as given. God’s instructions are that way.

Examples of when I didn’t follow instructions

Following directions saves time

Whether intentional or not, I mess up.

When I put a swing set together, I followed the instructions but misunderstood a section and required a neighbor’s help to get a section torn apart to start again. I tried not consulting my sewing machine manual, but my attempts made things worse, so I had to read the troubleshooting section.

In Exodus 16, I noticed that God gave simple and specific instructions about gathering the manna. It said in verse four that He tested them to see if they would listen. Some disregarded what they were told. This made God angry.

As their journey continued rather than be thankful for the food, the people grumbled. They even second guessed whether God was helping them. Their doubts tested God’s patience.

When I start to question whether I am being obedient to something I feel God has asked me to do rather than continuing to step out in faith, I do the same thing. Doubts overtake me. I grumble. I might even resist what I started. Tears of frustration cement in the questioning which only means I’m heading in the opposite direction than I am supposed to be going.

Steps to get back on track

What can a person do? As soon as you notice yourself stumbling down this road again, stop yourself. I say again because it is something that I find myself doing more than I care to admit, so maybe you do too.

First, replace the negative thoughts by recalling your “God moments,” the times you know your prayers were answered. Remind yourself of why you started the project or job or chore—whatever it is. What excited you? Why did you want to pursue this? Did you know the difficulties that would present themselves? Are you tired? Do you need a short break? Reevaluate the situation.

Second, talk with a trusted friend. Listen. If she agrees, then maybe you made a mistake. If she disagrees, soak up the encouragement offered.

Third, spend more time building your faith by reading the Bible, praying, praising, and listening to music that speaks to your soul. The more you seek God, the less you succumb to thoughts that are not uplifting.

Fourth, if you didn’t follow the instructions right, ask for forgiveness if you did it on purpose, figure out where you got off track, ask for help, and try again. Even if you misunderstood, asking for forgiveness doesn’t hurt. God esteems a person who has a humble and contrite spirit.

Sometimes we ignore a manual or diagram and fumble our way through assembling something, wasting time, and growing irritated. The more I learn though, the more essential I find it to follow directions, especially God’s simple, specific instructions. He knows best. Following his rules saves me from lots of grief and regret.

What is an instance when you neglected some instructions, and it only made more work?

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6 Replies to “Following instructions often saves time”

  1. I have learned that when I try to handle things on my own, there are times I get it wrong. When I go to God first and ask for His help, things turn out better. This can be in simple circumstances or troubled times. I’m glad He gives us instructions for life. 🙂

    1. His instructions, guidance, and comfort are always available when we remember to reach for them and listen. I’m glad we can depend on Him and that He understands our nature and is patient as we learn. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Melissa.

  2. When my children were young and misbehaved or made a mistake, sometimes I would discipline them when I should have loved them, told them how proud I was of them and helped them correct and never repeat that mistake. I’m still learning to do that with everyone in my life, because that’s what God’s does for me.

    1. That’s so true, Donna. If only we knew then what we know now. Everything always looks clearer in hindsight. I’m still learning too, and am thankful for God’s mercy and grace. Thanks for sharing this nugget of wisdom.

  3. I dread reading long instruction manuals or directions, but realize they’re meant to help us and are given to us by someone who has already done what we’re trying to do. When I think of them as being helpful and showing me the way – to save me headache and heartache – it’s easier to follow the instructions, knowing the outcome will be better than trying it on my own.

    1. Whenever I try to skim the instructions to make it go faster, it backfires, so I try to be more patient and read them step by step. I’m not always successful in following them, but I’m trying to get better at it because it often takes more time and cost more frustration by doing it my way. LOL Praying it goes well with you. Thanks for taking time to share, Shari.

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