Having a seminary graduate for a husband can be a handicap at times. I’m not real good at remembering specific references in scripture. I mean I know it’s in there, I just don’t always know where to find it. If I don’t find it quickly on my own, I can call out a phrase or story I’m looking for and Matthew can usually tell me where to look. Handy. I value his education. But if I am not careful, I can use his knowledge to take the place of seeking that for myself. It’s just lazy, really.
My grandmother was a student of scripture her whole life. She studied the Bible every day. Her Bible margins are filled with hand written notes she wrote. One of these days I hope to possess that special Bible. Her knowledge of scripture was ever expanding. She never got to the point that she had learned enough.
I recently worked a Saturday shift at the hospital. Weekends tend to move a little slower at the hospital. We had a good bit of downtime, and so my partner and I sat down and talked a while. Finally, she said, “I’m going to stop talking now. I’ve talked so much I’m making my own head hurt. I think I’ll read a little.” She pulled out this big black Bible and a notebook. This was a serious Bible. Not one of those fluffy purple Bibles with a pink flower on the front. (Not that there’s anything wrong with purple Bibles.)
I said, “What are you doing?” She shared with me that she had started going through books of the Bible and taking notes. She said that she was tired of not knowing where to find things in the Bible. “It’s just something I’ve decided to do.” She said.
I loved it. She was becoming a student of scripture all on her own. She had a desire to know God’s word. She didn’t want to depend on someone else for her Bible knowledge. She was taking it upon herself to infuse scripture into her life.
The pastor at my church recently shared something that might have been a bit prickly for most churchgoers to hear. He told the congregation that he did not feel it was his job to feed them.
Let that sink in.
How many times have you heard of someone leaving a church because “they just weren’t being fed”? I’d like to have a nickel for every time I’ve heard that. Instead, our pastor shared that it is his belief that it is his role to lead us to feed ourselves.
Now before you find yourself all offended at that think about the saying-
“If you give a man a fish he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”
Most of us are just lazy. We want someone else to do the hard work for us. Becoming a student of scripture takes work. Effort. But if we don’t know it for ourselves then how do we go about making the decisions of life in a way that is based in scripture? How do we use scripture as our guide if we don’t know what it says for ourselves? How, then, do we test the validity of what we have heard if we do not know the Bible personally? We are left to doing what feels right. That can go badly.
The answer to all of life’s problems is found in Scripture. All of them. It’s not too late to become a student. Allow it to become the lamp to your feet and the light to your path.