Monday, September 8, 2008

Bible "School"

Have you ever had a hard time understanding the Bible? Or felt so overwhelmed by it that you totally avoided it except for when the pastor recites versus on Sunday mornings? I know that I’ve been there and still am on occasion.

Clearly the Bible is an important book. It’s God’s Word and how are we to obey it if we don’t even understand it?

My time in Higher Education has taught me that there is a reason we do not understand certain things. More than likely, it’s not being taught in our learning style or the person teaching it has a different learning pattern then we do, so they present the information in a way that just doesn’t make sense to us.

It’s important to know your learning style. According to the Let Me Learn Process, there are four patterns of learning:
  • Sequential – enjoys learning things in order from start to finish without being interrupted.
  • Precision – learns best when taking precise notes and asking questions.
  • Technical – wants to get their hands on it and experience it for themselves.
  • Confluence – finds alternative ways to do things and improvises along the way.

So What Does This Have to Do With Bible Study?
Well, learning the Bible isn’t much different than learning how to work with a computer. Although the content and the importance of the Bible is far greater than computers, the learning process is still the same.

For example, my learning style is to dabble a little with a computer software program from start to finish (sequential pattern) and then when I get stuck, I like to ask question (precision pattern) after question after question…..well, you get the point. It’s no different with the Bible. When I sit down to read it, I usually only get so far without another resource to answer my questions.

Here are the things that I use:
Sunday church service
My hubby!
Other individuals more advanced in their spiritual walk with the Lord
A Life Application Study Bible (this is a fantastic resource that has loads of extra information explaining each verse and person in the Bible!)

I know just looking at how robust the Bible is, I feel so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to begin, but if you are a hands-on, "let’s get to it type of learner," having a Bible study teacher hanging over you may really get on your nerves and hinder your learning. You are the type of individual I envy because you can just understand it on your own. You can just pick up the Bible, no matter how thick it is, and read, and read, and read. Lucky!

Some of you may be reading this and feeling like you are reading something written by an alien since neither of these two approaches sound of any interest. That’s ok too. Sometimes you get lost in the written word and watching or listening others help you to stay focused. Here are some good options for you to take in the information in a way that is more comfy for you:
Get yourself some DVD's

Database driven website
that will allow you to type in and search for a topic that you specifically want to know more about and just zero in on that.
Daily Devotionals like the one I explained in my last post, A Joyce Meyer Devotional.

Don’t misunderstand me though. There is no replacement for the Bible. Continue to read it, however, add the above items that God has blessed us with as a supplemental way to learn more about the Bible rather than just avoiding it all together.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"


Gigi said...

GREAT post Denise! Growing up Catholic, we weren't encouraged to read the Bible fact, we were told we WOULDN'T understand it - that was the priest's job!! I know better and thank the Lord I walk closer with Him than ever! And my Sweet Hubby and I immerse ourselves in His Word on a daily basis. As we have grown in our faith, our spiritual resources have Bibles, multiple devotionals, commentaries...we LOVE it!! They ALL help us in our understanding and answer our questions. Our pastor and our Sunday School classes round things out for us. We are soooo blessed!

Gigi said...

Good afternoon Denise! Hope you're up for a little fun! I was "tagged" by my friend, Tracy, for a little blog game and I'm passing it on to 8 of my friends - you included! Here's how to play:

The Rules: 1) Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves. 2) People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules. 3) At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. 4) Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged and to read your blog.

I hope you'll have fun with it...I did!