What difference is this going to make in my everyday life?
That's the question I reflect on as I complete any Bible study I've been a part of. It's easy to reach the end of a Bible study and already be looking ahead to the next one we can add to our list of all the ones we've completed. An ever-growing list, an increasing pile of workbooks, an impressive amount of knowledge gained - these things can easily become our goal, even if we don't intentionally make it one.
But, if that's all it becomes, I believe we've missed the point of Bible study in the first place. It's not about all we can accomplish. It's not about gaining more head knowledge. It's not about how smart we can sound in future conversations about that topic or portion of Scripture.
The point of all our Bible study, all our work, all our learning needs to be our relationship with God. it's about allowing God to transform us to be more and more in the image of Christ. The facts we learn, the knowledge we gain is good, but it can't be our focus.
One of the ways I've found helpful in making sure I don't miss the point of the Bible studies I do is to take some time as I finish to reflect on the question: What difference is this going to make in my everyday life?
By asking this question, I slow down and look for the one or two things from the study I'm finishing that affect my life now. It might be a new understanding that changes how I live. It might be a new spiritual discipline I want to incorporate into my life. It might be a challenge to make a change in something in my life.
Whatever it is, by drawing out those one or two things, I keep myself from just checking another study off on a list. Instead, I make it about a growing and deepening relationship with God.
Can I challenge you to have a way of being intentional about paying attention to things so they can make a difference in your life rather than just being something you check off on a list?