In Ecclesiastes 6:11, we read, “For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man?” I’ve spent a number of years of my life studying the Bible, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this verse pretty much sums up the whole thing. You look at most religions, and they all have these elaborate Scriptures, and what are they all really? “Many words.” Solomon (or whoever) had it exactly right.
Good religion does not need many words. In fact, here’s a good religion that takes precisely 13 words to express: “Our purpose is to make life better for ourselves and those around us.” We could elaborate on these 13 words, of course. We take care of ourself first (so that other people don’t have to do it for us), then we make life better for our family, our neighbors, our friends and co-workers, our community, our country and our world. And we focus our efforts where the circles are smallest, since that’s most efficient. But still, 13 words sums it up.