If you have been thinking this, trust me, you are not alone. A few people have commented on how much time these study methods take and that the pace is too much to keep up with. (And I really appreciate the feedback, so keep it coming!)
If you have been feeling overwhelmed, don’t beat yourself up. Although “swimming in the deep end” gets easier and more rewarding over time, it can feel like you’re drowning at first. If you feel this way, here are some ways to help you catch your breath:
- Remember the goal of Bible study is to know God better and love Him more. It is primarily about relationship-building, NOT looking up definitions, cross references, and answering questions. Keep this goal in mind and only do the things that add to your relationship with God!
- I promised a 6-week study and that is the pace at which we’ll continue. HOWEVER, feel free to slow down if you need to! These posts will still be on the website and you can come back to them days, weeks, or months later.
- If you miss a day, don’t feel like you have to make it up unless you want to. I take days off from my personal Bible study.
- Each week will follow the same 5-day pattern. Now you know what’s coming, so you can adjust it to your schedule. Days 2 & 3 are the most labor-intensive, so you could divide them up more. For example: On the first day, asking questions about the text doesn’t take that long, so you could start looking up key words. Then you will have less to do on Day 2. On Day 3, look up 1/2 of the cross references. On Day 4, finish the cross references. On Day 5, answer your questions and write your summary. On Saturday, take a friend out to lunch and discuss how it applies to your life. I will continue providing the 5 days for clarity, but you can adapt it to your own needs. If defining keywords doesn’t float your boat, then don’t do it!
Finally, let’s talk about desire for just a minute. Doing difficult things seems much easier when we have a desire to do them! For example, when I learned to play guitar, I kept practicing for hours after my fingertips were screaming in pain. After a while, callouses built up and it didn’t hurt anymore, but until then, I was willing to push through the pain simply for the love of music. If you don’t have the desire for the Word yet, then pray that God will create that desire in you. And remember, you don’t get callouses without continued practice, even when it hurts!