Having a consistent bible study routine is critical for your spiritual journey, but there are three mistakes you could be making that are affecting your growth. If you are making these mistakes when studying scripture you could be missing out on some key opportunities to connect with God on a deeper level. Here are our top three mistakes you could be making when studying scripture.
1. Not using a journal or notebook to take notes.
Studying scripture is a time to take in spiritual food (Matthew 4:4). But even more, it's your opportunity to hear from your heavenly Father on matters concerning your life.
Scripture tells us that its purpose is to teach, rebuke, correct, and train the believer in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). As you study scripture you'll pick up key insights and knowledge. The best way to keep track of everything revealed to you is by keeping a written record.
We must study scripture to show that we can rightfully divide God's wisdom from false teachings (2 Timothy 2:15). You wouldn't sit through a college lecture without taking notes, so why would you study scripture without doing the same? Then you can go back and study your notes so that you are prepared to pass every test of life (James 1:2-4).
2. Favoring quantity over quality.
There are several different ways to study scripture. New and trendy bible study and memory verse challenges are popping up all over social media. Then there is the read the bible in a year challenges. They push you to read a certain number of verses a day so that by December 31st you've read the Bible cover-to-cover.
But is this really the best way to study scripture? Are we in a race to see who can read the most pages of the Bible in the fastest time? Do we get a prize or badge for memorizing the most verses?
Of course not. As children of God, our goal should be to understand the secrets of His kingdom (Mark 4:11) and gain spiritual truth through the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). To do this, we must take our time and not only read scripture but meditate on it day and night (Joshua 1:8).
This may require us to read the same few verses several times over and pray for a deeper understanding before we move on. As Timothy instructs we must practice these things and immerse ourselves in them so that everyone may see our progress (1 Timothy 4:15).
The Oxford dictionary defines practice as performing or exercise repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency. We cannot become proficient in our understanding of scripture if we're speed-reading through sections of the bible to meet a daily quota.
“If you are ignorant of God’s Word, you will always be ignorant of God’s will.” – Billy Graham
3. Not studying the companion verses.
The Bible is not meant to be read cover-to-cover. It isn't a novel, it's a reference book to help you refer back to God's commandments and statutes. It's meant to serve as the basis for everyday living. When you study a certain verse or topic you must study all verses related to that particular verse or topic. This will help you to gain a clear understanding of the message. If you don't you may be missing out on key pieces of information that will help you implement biblical wisdom correctly in your life.
The easiest way to find companion verses when studying scripture is by using a bible cross reference app. You simply plug in the verse you're studying and it will give you a list of companion verses. We also recommend using a topical index app or book for when you want to focus on a certain topic such as money, marriage, and prayer.
Can you think of any other mistakes made when studying scripture? Leave them in the comments.