Don't Make This Mistake When Studying the Bible
* This is a guest post by Jen Wilkin, author of None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That's a Good Thing).
A Really Hard Question
When I teach women how to study the Bible, one of the things that I ask them to do is to look first for what the text says about God. And what I have found over the years is that that's a really hard question for women to answer a lot of times. Most of us haven’t spent much time devoting our attention to just things that are true about God. It’s almost like a Magic Eye or Where’s Waldo—once you learn to focus on looking for that particular thing in the text, it becomes easier. It’s like a muscle that we exercise and get better at over time.
It's about taking time to ask, "What are the things that the Bible teaches that are true about God?" That question is really helpful to a lot of us when it comes to sitting down to read Scripture because it helps retrain our thinking so that we’re asking the better question first.
If it’s true that there is no true knowledge of self apart from the knowledge of God, then we need to spend a lot of time answering the question "Who is God?" so that we can ultimately draw from that an answer to "Who am I in relation to God and how should that change me?"—which is what we’re looking for when we approach the Scriptures. We want transformation.
So starting with "Who is God?" is a good thing but it’s also a difficult thing. However, it’s a worthy pursuit to spend time focusing on the question "What does the Bible say is true about God?" so that we get better at detecting it when we go to study.
* The following article was taken from our ministry partners, Crossway.org. Used by permission.
About the Author
Jen Wilkin is a speaker, writer, and teacher of women’s Bible studies. During her seventeen years of teaching, she has organized and led studies for women in home, church, and parachurch contexts. Jen and her family are members of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas.