Whoever you are and wherever you are in your journey of studying the Bible, you can go one step deeper.
No one begins as an expert. Did you know that? In our YouTube influenced culture which purports to teach you anything in 15 minutes or less, we’ve come to believe that it doesn’t take much time to become good at something. Just read this Internet article or watch this video and we think we’ve gained university level understanding. But that is far from the truth.
I spent years practicing the clarinet, from age 9 until I finally stopped pursuing a career as a professional musician about 6 years ago. That’s 30+ years of practicing. Lately I’ve been practicing the piano, trying to improve my meager skills. But I find that I’m very impatient. Because I was accomplished on one instrument, I thought the process of learning another one would be quicker. In some ways it is, but in many ways it isn’t. Progression still depends on daily practice, diligently building one skill on top of the other.
Some of us can get discouraged in Bible study if we’ve sat under or been influenced by various pastors and teachers. As we hear their insights and how they link one passage of the Bible with another, we may think we’ll never attain to that level of knowledge and understanding. We might even think it’s not worth trying to learn to study on our own. We won’t ever get anything out of it.
But there is fruit and there is joy no matter where you are in your level of understanding. I remember learning about cross references for the first time and was thrilled when I started seeing little connections between Bible passages and how that testified to God’s faithfulness. Over the years I’ve slowly added more skills in studying the Bible and I’ve gained more knowledge of different doctrines. This additional skill and knowledge has only deepened my understanding and joy in the Lord, but it’s not like that joy I had before, when I first started, wasn’t just as real.
I love watching piano concertos on YouTube. It stuns me how fast a human being’s fingers can fly over the keyboard. I wish I could play some of those pieces. But I’ll never be an expert pianist. However, I do get great joy and satisfaction when I can finally put together a few simple lines I’ve been practicing without error. I may not be playing Rachmaninoff but I’m making music and it makes me happy.
So don’t be discouraged as you learn to study the Bible. Add one skill at a time and don’t get overwhelmed. And remember the goal. The goal is much greater than making beautiful music. The goal is knowing God.