Once a month, I’ll be writing you a blog post about one of the various spiritual disciplines referenced in the Bible, explaining its importance and relevance, and giving a suggestion or two on how to practice it.
Several weeks back, I shared with you the discipline of meditation. In many ways, study is meditation’s bigger, more academic older brother.
Think of it like this:
Meditation is popping a piece of bread in your mouth, enjoying the flavor and texture, swallowing it, and allowing your digestive system to do with it what it will.
Studying is taking that piece of bread, finding the recipe for it, and analyzing every ingredient and instruction in order to understand what that bread is and how it came to be.
Or, as Richard Foster puts it,
“Meditation is devotional; study is analytical. Meditation will relish a word; study will explicate it. Although meditation and study often overlap, they constitute two distinct experiences. Study provides a certain objective framework within which meditation can successfully function.” Celebration of Discipline, pg. 64
How you study is about bringing your mind to bear on Scripture with repetition, concentration, comprehension, and reflection.
What you study is completely up to you - with God’s guidance of course.
You may want to study a word. Love. Forgiveness. Holiness. Starting with the first time it’s used in Scripture and tracing every usage thereafter.
Maybe you want to study a specific book. Who wrote it? To whom did they write it? What was going on in the culture at the time?
Maybe you want to study a particular biblical figure. What can this person’s life - their fears, their failures, their successes - teach me about my own?
Study leads to knowledge. Knowledge leads to understanding. Understanding leads to connection. Connection leads us to a deeper love for God, which causes us to become more Christlike.
Think about it.