Recently I have been rethinking a lot about my blog because I am moving it. That means I have to rethink what it will look like, what is the emphasis I want to have…and it has changed over the past year. As I have been writing posts for the new blog that will be foundation posts, I’m realizing that along with the Scripture quoted, there is an important question we all must ask.
Yes, it can sound a little irreverent, but it is important to the everyday, nitty gritty of our daily lives and the way we live out our faith. What is the question? In light of the Bible input we listen to and often memorize, the short question is this: So what?
Whenever we read GOD’s Word, whenever we study it or mull over it, the final question we need to ask ourselves in the presence of GOD is: So what? What do all these words mean in the light of my everyday life? stop
I think I understand the words I’m reading, but I’m not sure I understand what it all has to do with me in the everyday. If I don’t ask the So what? question, my life won’t change as a result of reading GOD’s Word and the reading will never come alive!
Yes, I know this is GOD’s holy Word. Yes, I know it is a piece of the whole Bible and needs to be interpreted as such. Yes, I know GOD is about bringing about change into my life and He often chooses a variety of ways to do it…some painful, others pleasant. He gives us His Holy Spirit to guide us to truth as He applies this truth to our lives so we can trust Him to guide us both as we read His Word and as we meditate on it. We can even trust the Holy Spirit to guide us to answer the So what? questions.
Mulling over the words we read may remind us of other passages we have read. Take a look through a tool like Bible Gateway. It has almost every version you could want to access as well as many foreign languages. If you know the address of the verse you are looking for, use it. Otherwise, use a word or phrase from the verse and it will pop up other similar verses you can look through. If you want the context, you can click on the chapter and see it. I find that especially helpful.
I also use it if I am wanting to see what the Bible says in other places on a particular word that I come across. You may have to use some synonyms to get the full picture, but it will help a lot. One key principle of understanding a passage is to see it in light of other passages on the same or a similar topic. They often flesh it out by giving contrasting or additional information.
So remember, when you read or study the Bible, don’t forget the all important question at the end: So what? Because if we don’t understand the so what? answers to the things we learn from the Bible, it will only be an academic exercise to read it. And that can be downright dull!
Reading the Bible for the sake of reading it isn’t all bad. Continuing to ask questions, dig deeper and apply what we’ve read to our own lives will make it mean so much more and help us retain what we’ve read for future reference. “So what” is a great way to remember to do that!
you’re right Lori. there are all kinds of methods to help us do that. this is simply an oversiplified version of some of them.
Thanks for the reminder to apply scripture to life!