It was definitely a defining moment. I counted over 52 competed Bible studies! Before you make any assumptions, please know that I’m not bragging.
Becoming a Christian for me came much later in life. I was “saved” numerous times throughout my childhood. But it wasn’t until my 30’s that I got serious. All of those familiar Bible studies weren’t so familiar to me.
It was like starting over. It was indeed, starting over. When Fred and I got married, we both entered the marriage with lots of experience, some good, some not so good.
To get a healthy start we both recommitted to Christ in 1993. We knew it was our best hope of a successful and happy marriage. I jumped in headfirst. Bible study after Bible study, I was the model student, knowing I had much to learn. Our church invited me to be on just about every committee known to the world of church committees. And I said yes to all of them! It felt good to be wanted and valued for my young faith. Deep down I wondered if they knew what I didn’t know.
Now it’s 2017 and I’ve been looking through old drawers looking for a journal entry I’d written years before. It was amazing to have to dig through all the “Bible study workbooks!” I could not believe how many there were, pages filled with notes.
52. Over 52! I couldn’t help but wonder if it would have been different if I had done less Bible studies and more Bible study. As in just me, God, an empty journal and an open Bible.
When you think about it, most studies are what God revealed to the author during the writing process. When reading the Bible, you can’t help but read it through your own life experience. Marriage in the Bible means something different to me, as over the years my dad was married so many times we actually lost count. But someone who grew up in an intact home and never experienced so many divorces may “read” something different. The same applies to the story about the prodical son. If you’ve had a prodigal, you need that story! While it’s a great story regardless it won’t impact someone the same who has dealt with the heart wrenching difficulty of a prodigal child.
Some of the popular authors I even feel like I know because I’ve read some much about them! While I’m not knocking that, I’m certain I’ve cheated myself on some good basic Bible. Unfortunately even after all those studies, I still feel quite illiterate when it comes to discussing the Bible with others.
Now I’m becoming ‘basic Beth.’ My commitment to Bible study won’t fain, but for a season it will be all about basic Bible. In the fall I’ll be doing a chronological study. No cutesy videos shot from around the world. No in depth study questions to discuss around the table. None of anyone else’s revelations that I try to make my own. Just basic Bible.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not knocking Bible studies. As one who has moved around a lot, they’ve been a life line for me. It’s where I’ve found “my people.” And I’ve certainly learned a lot. It’s just time for a change.
I’d love hear from others. What do you think? Bible study? Bible studies? Both?