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Saturday, September 28, 2013

What is a "Principle" and Why is it Important?

A principle is defined as "a general or fundamental truth: a comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption on which others are based or from which others are derived." - Webster's Third New International Dictionary

Principles differ from laws in that they provide the BASIS for laws. They provide direction on things that are not specifically covered by a Law. Rules may be provided for some particular time or situation, but principles are timeless. (Psalm 119:111) Divine principles do not become outdated or pass away as the following Scripture can well attest: "The green grass has dried up, the blossom has withered; but as for the word of our God, it will last to time indefinite." (Isaiah 40:8)

Many machines are designed to obey instructions. Animals have instincts. But when Jehovah declared "Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness," humans were created to be guided by principles. (Genesis 1:26) In addition, since they contain the potential for personal decisions as to application, they allow a person to knowingly or unknowingly show what is in their hearts.

For our benefit, Jehovah has had hundreds of these principles recorded in His Word. It is interesting that while all godly principles are beneficial, some carry more weight than others. For instance, in Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus showed that among the commandments and corresponding principles of the Mosaic Law, some were more important than others.

Mt. 22:37-39 says: "He said to him: "`You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. The second, like it, is this, `You must love your neighbor as yourself." (NWT)

Out of the hundreds of principles found in the Bible, it may be difficult to actually know them all. But keeping in mind the Scripture above, the key principles of the Bible are those that have a direct bearing upon our relationship with Jehovah. If we take these to heart, God becomes the prime influence on our moral compass. Secondary, there are the principles that affect our relationships with other people.

For more concerning principles, see:

Bible Principles — INDEX; Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

How Do Bible Principles Benefit Us? — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

Godly Principles Can Benefit You — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

Your Choice of Principles — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

Guide Your Steps by Godly Principles — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

How to Be a Good Father: Five Bible Principles (JW.ORG)

Before and After—Bible Principles Made a Difference — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY

Find Contentment by Applying Bible Principles — Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY


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