Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Study.....then what?

Sometimes I think we become so analytical that we miss out on some of the simple joys of Christianity. Speaking for myself, there is a tendency to over-analyze nearly everything…every song, every sermon, every passage of Scripture….I get so wrapped up in the minutia that I don’t often take time to simply enjoy my God. I often find myself zealously diving into the depths of a small passage of Scripture – dissecting it, analyzing it, looking at the Greek, reading what the great theologians past and present have to say about it – that I don’t take time to allow the Holy Spirit to write the great truths contained therein upon my heart. This is the great drawback in overdependence on scholarship.

Don’t get me wrong now…we should be as the noble Bereans; search and study the Scriptures daily. I don’t want to give the impression that I think we should wallow around blissfully in the sludge of our own ignorance; however, there needs to be a balance. Quite frankly, I tend to lack balance. All the “headiness” in the world is insufficient if not balanced by the joy that comes with a true and intimate relationship with our Savior. Often over the last several years, I’ve had such a focus on learning that I’ve forgotten to take time to be instructed by the Great Teacher. Following are a few steps I am beginning to take to ensure that I strike that balance I need to have:
  • I will keep my devotion time separated from my study time. This is a big problem with me. When I sit down to have my devotions, it appears that I’m preparing a sermon…commentaries, lexica, study Bibles, and concordance all at the ready. I will strive to turn my “devotion time” into a time of personal worship with a heavy dose of the Psalms playing a significant part.

  • Head knowledge is good; “heart knowledge” is better. I will continue to commit myself to deep studies of the Word, but I will end my study times with a time of introspection, prayer, and commitment. I will ask myself, “How will what I’ve learned today impact my life? How will it change me? How will it better equip me for my part in fulfilling the Great Commission? How will this cause me to better give glory to God?”

  • I will study more with my wife. My wife is tempered with a grace that I am not, and I am always in awe of the sweetness that emanates from her. I’ve come to value her insight and her perspective – she balances me out quite nicely! She has a wisdom about her that I respect greatly. She has a way of helping me to look at and appreciate the little things that I have a tendency to just blow right through.

These small steps are, I think, vital to me striking a better balance in my daily walk. Perhaps it will help me to become more seasoned with grace than I am currently….

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