The following are not trick questions. There are no wrong answers.
- Why do you eat?
- How do you choose what you eat?
- Why do you study/read the Bible?
Some people eat because it taste good; therefore, they don’t consider the nutritional value of what they are eating. These people care only about taste and mouth feel (and possibly the visual presentation). They only consider the pleasure value of food, so they choose their food accordingly.
Other people eat only what is healthy. Pleasure has no part to play in what they eat; therefore, it plays no part in what they choose to eat. They only consider the nutritional value of the food or drink. This is the principle that guides their food choices.
(For the record, I think both of these are extreme views of food. I like a happy balance of nutritional value and taste-good value.)
Well, the same decision-making process is true of people when it comes to Bible study. Some people only read portions of Scripture that they “like”. The reason they like those particular passages or books usually has to do with familiarity: “feel-good” value. Like our first eaters, they don’t think about the “nutritional” value. They don’t want anything that won’t give them a feel-good dopamine boost.
Another group will struggle through “important” books of the Bible with little to no understanding or ability to apply any principles simply because they’ve been told those books are important.
Bible study will do you little good if what you study doesn’t change you in some way. This doesn’t have to be a drastic change, although sometimes it will be. It may simply be that you understand God’s love for you more deeply then you did before.
It is important for you to know your “why”. Your “why” will influence how and what you study as well as what you do with what you’ve learned. So this week as you read your Bible, ask yourself, “Why?” This is one of the most important questions in Bible study; you will use it a lot. So go ahead and start now.