Do you find it hard to relate to the Bible? 5 Tips to Open Your Eyes.
I used to say that the Bible was like Shakespeare to me. I don’t “get” either of them. It’s written in English but in a foreign tongue that my mind just can’t grasp.
But with some mindful actions, I’ve begun to de-mystify the Bible and appreciate how the Word is actually speaking to me.
1- Take the fear and anxiety out of it.
The Bible is meant to guide us on our earthly journey. If we keep this simple fact in mind, we’re more open to listening for the lessons, hearing the guidance, and growing our faith.
Decide to read one small bit per day, maybe one chapter. Start with the Gospels. They chronicle the story of Jesus’ life, so they’re straightforward language and relatable context – as relatable as God in flesh can be!
If you go to church, you’re already familiar with the Gospels, so you can focus on discerning how they’re speaking to you today versus deciphering the language.
2- Get a study bible.
A study bible contains “Cliff Notes” that explain the context of a verse. It might contain an explanation as to the customs at the time or explain the wording that was used at the time versus current wording. These notations attempt to demystify the Word.
I’ll show you links to the Study Bible my husband and I use, plus other options, at the end of this post.
3- Attend a Bible study.
Bible studies focus on one particular aspect of the Bible and the leaders guide the group through detailed discussion of the context and meaning.
A Bible study will help improve your overall understanding of the Bible. You may find that this group environment works well for your learning style and choose to attend another Bible Study of a different topic.
Perhaps your church or a neighboring church offers them. If not, join an online group.
4- Make it personal.
Once you’ve focused on deciphering the Word into language you can understand, make it personal. Sometimes it can feel that the message from over two thousand years ago is no longer relevant. After all, life as it exists now could never even been foreseen at that time.
But are things really different? Yes, the mode of transportation we use is very different and the technology advances since then are incredible.
But at the core of the human condition, have we really changed? We still struggle in relationships with others, to forgive those who’ve wronged us, to support our families, to decide if or how to help the less fortunate, to deal with the challenges of life, such as sickness and death. These and many other conditions transcend time and place.
We’re not as different today as you might have thought. Try to put the Bible into that context instead of imagining it to be some foreign world, incongruent to today’s culture.
A book by Jeannie Kendall beautifully portrays this truth. In Finding Our Voice: Unsung Lives from the Bible Resonating with Stories from Today, Kendall weaves the poignant and difficult human challenges from unsung biblical characters along with contemporary voices with similar circumstances and challenges.
You can find my detailed book review of her book HERE.
Don’t forget to ask Jesus to open your heart and mind to understanding His Word. After reading, spend quiet time reflecting on what the personal message has been for you.
I hope you’ll find that using these techniques demystifies the Bible and you’ll see that His Words recorded so long ago are speaking directly to you today.
How do you let the Bible speak to you? How do you keep it relevant in your life? Let me know in the comments.
This is the study Bible my husband and I use. It’s a small personal size. Note: The print is very small.
Some other options: