Why I’m Tired of Bible Study
On my last blog post I mentioned a slew of things that I had good intentions about doing. The first on the list was two blog posts a week. That was three weeks ago. It’s another example of why I called that post “The Death of Good Intentions.”
I almost chickened out of calling today’s post what I did. I was afraid of the judgment that might ensue, and honestly, how it might affect:
- People’s opinions of me
- People’s opinions of my husband and his ministry (because I am his wife, not because he leads my Bible studies—he doesn’t)
- My speaking engagement bookings (who wants that unspiritual woman speaking to our group?)
Regardless of what I call the post, though, the truth is the same: Lately I’ve found myself less than enthusiastic about Bible study (except the one I’m doing with a middle school girl). Why? In the last few days, I think I’ve figured it out. Nothing changes.
We read the Word. We dissect it. We talk. We pray. And I, at least, go home the same person. I may even have some of those good intentions, but there is little or no follow through. Most of them have become studies for the sake of study, devotions for the sake of devotions. I love the Word of God, but I don’t seem to love letting it transform me. Most mornings I can’t even remember the profound Scriptural truth I journaled about the day before.
In the Bible book of James, it says, “But prove yourselves DOERS of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” (James 1:22, emphasis mine). It’s easy to be a “doer” when the instruction in the Word is some black-and-white, somewhat-easy instruction (do not commit adultery comes to mind).
But what about when it’s difficult? A recent group study covered Luke 9:1–6. We talked about the disciples being sent out taking nothing with them and how important it was to get rid of the things that clutter our lives and keep us from living on-mission for God. It was an important discussion. We were all able to identify things and attitudes that clutter our lives.
Will anyone actually check to see if any of us is making changes? Will we hold each other accountable? Or will we simply move on to the next topic at the next study? (I can almost guarantee the answers are: no, no, yes.)
Maybe my solution is not more Bible study, but more Bible sitting. Perhaps the solution is to hang in there with a passage of Scripture that requires a change in my life until I actually make the change, praying over it, asking God for the strength, the power to actually do it.
We know it’s not helpful for students of math to move on to a new concept if they haven’t mastered the current one. Why should my faith learning be any different?
Maybe I wouldn’t read much of the Scriptures this year. Maybe I’d be right there in Luke 9:1–6 until 2013. But just maybe the clutter would be gone (okay, mostly gone), and I would be excited about Bible study again because it’s truly made a difference.
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Carol has been blogging since 2005. Blog posts prior to 2010 can be found here.