It turns out, bible study isn’t always easy.
After Bible Study Fellowship returned from Christmas break, I fell out of practice with Kay Arthur’s method for a couple of months. However, BSF is now on Spring break, so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things.
I’ve had some time to adjust to the inductive method, and I’ve made a few startling realizations.
1. Studying is hard.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been out of college for over a year now; maybe the motivation never existed in the first place.
Either way, I’m finding it incredibly difficult to sit down and study without a test (or discussion group) in the near future.
2. School doesn’t teach students how to study.
Don’t get me wrong, I made decent grades in high school and excellent grades in college. However, I’m now realizing I did so well in school because I was taught how to get good grades – I never really learned how to study.
I could study for the test. I could get a high grade on the test.
I would then immediately forget the information until it was time to re-learn it for the next test.
Repeat cycle for 15 years of public education. Now, attempting to actually learn something new is more challenging than I originally thought.
3. Skimming is easier than reading.
Maybe it’s another habit from school (maybe it’s the ridiculous amount of time I spend reading online), but my default mode is apparently “skim”.
Now that I’m trying to really learn and absorb the Word, not just pick out familiar verses, I’m having to exercise a whole new level of self-control.
4. Scripture really does build on itself.
A big part of the inductive method is looking at the original context of key words and then finding other places in scripture where those words show up.
In doing this, I’m finding so many verses that support or elaborate upon the verses I’m studying in James. I love this.
God is really cool, y’all.
5. Context is key.
It’s been so interesting to compare the way verses, especially popular verses, were written in scripture to how they’re used in the real world.
If I take one thing out of this experience, it will be an awareness of how often verses are misquoted or misrepresented.
When I hear a scripture quoted, I’m quick to read the entire chapter (or at least the entire paragraph) rather than blindly accept someone else’s interpretation of God’s Word.
This entire process is much more challenging than I’d originally expected.
However, I’m already seeing the incredible rewards.
I’m getting to know God and His Word in an entirely new way.
I’m actually getting to KNOW the scripture, as opposed to having someone else teach me their interpretation.
I’m finding new verses that I really needed to hear.
I’m getting closer to God.
I love this. I’m excited to see where the rest of this process takes me.
Photo Credit: Brett Jordan
What method do you use to study your bible? Have you found any of these to be true of yourself? Leave a comment sharing your experiences!
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