Get To Know Your Bible
There was a moment in our marriage many years ago where my wife asked to go to a specific class in the women’s ministry of our church. We had three children (maybe our fourth, my memory is vague here) and she was homeschooling two of them. I was working full time and in seminary, along with a busy jail chaplaincy that was an hour away. My decision was to say “No.” Her appeal was funny, she told me that it was about submission! My reply was simple and to the point, she didn’t need to have another class on submission, she knew the verses and there was not going to be something special or new taught.
I knew she was discouraged by this but there simply was no time in our days at that point. I then looked at her and stated as clearly as I could that I didn’t want her to become that woman who is always filling up pads of paper with notes but never actually taking the time to practice what is learned until it becomes habit. Those women are a dime a dozen. I wanted her to be the woman who simply rested in the Word, read it faithfully, and sought to put it into practice as she learned. I promised her that if she did what I told her that in ten years these same women would be asking her to teach them how to be godly wives or mothers. My prediction came true.
I say this story simply to impress upon you who read this of the power of long-term vision coupled with faithfulness. You don’t become godly overnight and you don’t understand your bible overnight. Much of my time teaching is really “unteaching” things that people think they know and they don’t. Or worse, they know a little bit, think it is a lot and they stop growing and learning. That is not how to learn the Word of God. Knowing your bible is like a good marriage, it takes time, patience and practice.
All of this is written to introduce you to a great blog by a man who was in my seminary a couple years behind me. Since that time he has far surpassed me and I have followed his journey with interest. He is writing a series of blog posts on Evangelicals & The Bible and as I read the latest installment I came across this quote which precipitated my own post.
My advice is to get to know the Bible over time—like, over decades. There aren’t five easy steps to Bible knowledge. I’ve told students in the past to measure their knowledge of the Bible in 5-year increments. And when I’ve said that, I could hear sighs of relief.
Relax. Read your bible. Let it percolate in your heart and keep your ears and mind open to learning. Let the doctrines stretch you until they change you. But accept with a willing heart that it takes time.