When it comes to our study of God’s word, which describes us better: dusters? Or excavators? Let me elaborate. The two instruments above essentially have the same purpose—to uncover something that has been buried or covered. Both have a role to play in discovering new things and exploring remnants of what has been left behind. However, there is a significant contrast between these two pieces of equipment. While a duster only begins to touch the surface, an excavator has the strength and power to dig in deep to uncover what lies below the ground. They both have a role to play in a dig, but I think we all can agree that if we had to choose between using a duster or an excavator, we’d choose the excavator.
So again, I ask the question: which of these two describes us better in our study of Scripture? Are we dusters that just skim the surface? Or do we dig in deep into what God is trying to communicate to us? We all study and learn in different ways, and certainly, I am not saying there is one perfect way for us to study God’s perfect word. That being said, however, there can be times where we might find ourselves in the routine of skimming over a section of text to check it off of our “spiritual to-do list” but never really focus on what it is that we have just read. Do we really get much out of what we have just done? Yes, we have read our Bible for the day, but what benefit did it bring us? Were any changes made in our lives because of our reading? We all can be guilty of this from time to time. Even when our hearts are focused on trying to get something out of our study, other things in life can come in and distract us. As a result, we merely dust off the top layer of what God is trying to tell us while more incredible treasures lie deeper inside, waiting to be uncovered.
Peter tells us that Scripture “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). It contains everything we need to live a life that is pleasing and acceptable to God. It is a treasure given to us by God that is unlike any other! What are we going to do with it? To find the nuggets of gold that lie deep below the pages of God’s word, we must be diligent to dig for them! While we can read what the text says and move on with our lives afterward, we can miss out on some of the most exciting discoveries in the process.
How can we change this? How can we begin to dig deeper into God’s word? Here are a few ways we can get started:
Write out the passage. Handwriting something has been proven to help it stick in your brain longer. It can help us focus on the words we are reading and can help some repeated concepts stand out in the text.
Mark up the passage. Some people are hesitant to write in their Bibles—and that’s ok! That’s where writing the passage out can help! We can use pens, pencils, and highlighters to underline key concepts of the text, identify the important words, and draw lines to connect different pieces together. In summary, we can visually outline the text as a way of helping us see what it’s trying to tell us.
Share/talk about the passage. One of the best things about studying Scripture is sharing with others the discoveries that you’ve made. Think about it: if you were digging in a gold mine and found a nugget, what would you do? You’d tell others! You’d be excited about the find! Why should Scripture be any different? We don’t have to make huge, life-changing finds for them to be worth sharing. Maybe in your study, you’ve made a connection that you haven’t before—show someone! Get others excited about what you’ve found in the text. (It’s a lot of fun to do, too!) Over time, we can begin to feed each other’s enthusiasm for study and finding new things in the text.
These simple tips can make a massive impact on our study of the Bible. Again, there is no perfect way to study, but these simple things can begin to make a world of difference in our approach to Scripture. You want to know the best part? There is always something more to dig up! Scripture is a gold mine that will never run out. God has given us His word for us to study and learn from—so let’s grab our shovels and start digging!