An old sailor frequently got lost at sea. Somehow his friends always managed to track him down. Fed up with his terrible navigation skills, his friends gave him a compass and insisted he use it. The next time he went out to sea he brought the compass with him. Inevitably, he became lost once again. Just like usual, his friends somehow found him and rescued him. Annoyed and frustrated, his friends asked, “Why didn't you use the compass we gave you? You could have saved us a lot of trouble!" The old sailor responded, “I didn't dare to! I wanted to go north, but as hard as I tried to make the needle aim in that direction, it just kept on pointing southeast." This old sailor was positive he knew which way was north. He was so sure of his sense of direction that when the compass didn’t agree with him, he stubbornly tossed it aside despite its pinpoint accuracy.
Maybe it’s because of pride or the fear of embarrassment, but we don’t like to admit when we are lost. We don’t like to show weakness and vulnerability. Some men have even earned reputations for their willful refusal to stop and ask for directions. Most people who won’t ask for directions are stubborn. They don’t like to be wrong and asking for directions is a blatant confession of mistakes.
Most people are stubborn to some degree. Strangely, this obstinate attitude seems to multiply when people are spiritually lost. For some reason, people blatantly refuse to admit their error on topics like religion and politics. While getting lost is usually silly and harmless, the most serious situation is when someone is spiritually lost.
The reason the Bible was given to us was so we could find out how to get to heaven. As a result, God included in this book everything, yes every single thing, we need for this life and for godliness (2 Peter 1:3). According to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Bible we have today came directly from God and was given to us “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
To put it simply, the Bible must be the compass for our lives. It determines how a person is saved (1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38), when a person is lost (Ephesians 2:1f; 1 John 1:5-10), and how to get to heaven (Revelation 2:10; Matthew 7:21-23). The Bible is the perfect set of direction, the best map, and the ultimate compass.
Let’s stop being like the old sailor. If we’re going one direction and the Bible is pointing us in another, it’s time to change course!