Friday, June 1, 2012

reading it for yourself

Growing up in the church I heard over and over again the importance of being in the Word regularly. I was reminded that I needed to be doing it on my own on a regular basis. But, somehow along the way, I began to just listen to and read what others had to say about the Bible. If I wasn't at church I rarely opened my Bible just to read it for myself.

There was nothing wrong with reading or listening to other people talk about Scripture. They can be incredibly helpful in expanding our understanding. I still read lots of Christian authors and listen to many Christian speakers. But, I have learned that I can't stop at that. I miss so much of the Word and what God might be trying to say to me when I don't open the Word myself. I tend to pick up books or listen to people talk about a certain selection of topics and avoid others, often unintentionally.

But, as I mentioned in my post yesterday, when I actually take the time to read Scripture for myself, I see things I wouldn't have if I had relied only on others to tell what the Bible says. Case in point would be Proverbs 31. I had always heard people talk about the Proverbs 31 woman in a way that made it seem like it was nothing more than an impossible standard to live up to. That meant I only skimmed through it whenever I came to it. But when I actually took the time to read and study it, I realized the incredible amount of good things that chapter had to say. If I had just kept listening to others talk about it, I would have missed so much there.

It's important for us to read Scripture in our own on a regular basis. We need to discover the truth in it for ourselves. Other authors and speakers are valuable resources but, from my perspective, they need to supplement our Scripture reading and studying of it on our own, not replace it.

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