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What does that even mean?

The title of this blog post is a question I secretly asked myself as I memorized Bible verse after Bible verse in elementary, then middle, then high school... if I'm honest, that question continued well into college and my young adult life. I couldn't explain very many verses I memorized, but instead of asking someone, I just hid my frustration.

At a certain point in my Christian walk, I believed that everyone else would think I should know the answers. I also started to think that maybe those around me didn't know either. I grew up believing every word spoken from a pulpit. I didn't know that reading and understanding for myself was even an option.

Things changed for me in the spring of 2014. I began attending a church with a pastor that preached the full picture of the Bible. I was learning more than I had in my entire life, but the kicker was that I was being encouraged to read and understand it for myself.

From those first church services I experienced, I began diving deeper into verses I had learned as a kid. I learned what context was and how it is crucial to understanding Scripture. Understanding the Bible no longer seemed unobtainable, but now seemed like the sweetest privilege.

The Bible was written FOR us, but not TO us. This was pivotal for me to learn. I began to see Scripture in the light of when/where and who it was written to.

I share all of this to encourage you today. Pick up your Bible and read it for yourself. Don't cherry pick a verse and let it stand alone. Every verse is part of the larger narrative. God desires that we read His Word. It's where we learn about His character and nature. If a verse or passage is difficult to grasp, consider reaching out to your pastor for clarity. You can also check out trusted resources like these commentaries

Searching out the Scriptures for myself has brought me closer to God. Now, my faith is my own. I have decided, for myself, to follow Jesus and that His Word is true and right.

Important note: I am so grateful for all of the pastors and leaders I had in my life growing up. I learned so many things from them and count many of them so dear to my heart. We just can't rely on others to tell us what the Bible says. It's imperative that when you are listening to someone preach or teach the Bible, you open yours up too!

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