So if you don’t love the scriptures yet, take heart! I promise you the work it takes to fall in love with them is worth it, time and time again.
5 Steps to Help You Love the ScripturesJanuary 12, 2014
I have a confession.
I haven’t always loved reading the scriptures. I used to think that reading was monotonous and frustrating, and the scriptures were just plain hard to understand. Reading the scriptures felt more like a chore than anything, and then even worse was the guilt that I felt that way. Though I think I knew deep inside that it was good for me, I wondered how anybody enjoyed it, and worried that something was wrong with me that I didn’t.
I contrast that with how I feel about the scriptures now. I can honestly say that on good days the scriptures fill my soul. Studying the scriptures is my lifeline, my bread and my honey. Hearing God by studying his word builds my confidence and my worth.
So what changed? I certainly didn’t become (and am still not) perfect at reading, but my heart and desires couldn’t be more different.
Here are a few steps that were helpful for me, and have completely changed the way I view the scriptures and how they impact me.
1- Pray, pray, pray. Instead of feeling like reading was a chore, I humbly asked Heavenly Father to help me understand them–even fall in love with them. The love didn’t come all at once, but slowly and surely it did come. I pray before I read, I pray while I read, and I pray when I finish.
2- Approach the scriptures with questions. I came at times with questions, and recorded answers and impressions when they followed.
3- Record thoughts, feelings and promptings. For whatever reason it seems like just the act of having a pen and paper with me lets God take me more seriously that I really want to learn and understand what I’m studying. Writing and recording promptings also helps me remember what I need to do, and what I have felt.
4- Apply what I’m reading to my own struggles, insecurities, and problems.
5- Approach my scripture study as a workout, and embraced the “burn.” I feel much the same way about reading my scriptures as I feel about exercising (and I guess in a way they are both forms of exercise, one for the physical body and one for the spiritual). I had a hard time with both of them in the beginning, but with time I began to love them–even crave them. When exercising either my spiritual or physical body it helps when I have a plan (just wandering around the gym, or mindlessly speed reading some verses doesn’t give me that “burn”). Also, to feel real growth I have to stick with it. I also believe there are parallels in our spiritual and physical diet. Just like a great workout can be ruined by a crappy diet, a great scripture study can be ruined by taking in spiritual garbage the rest of the day. To keep the physical and spiritual high, we still need to focus on what we take in and keep out before and after the “work-out” as well.
Also, just like I feel physically sluggish when I eat poorly and don’t exercise, I can feel a difference when I don’t exercise spiritually. Without a good scripture study I struggle spiritually as well: I inevitably begin to question my worth, my confidence decreases, I worry more about what the world thinks than what God thinks, and I lose perspective on what really matters.
Whatever the change, over the years I have learned to love the scriptures and crave the spiritual high that comes from having a scripture study session: reading them, reviewing them, writing in them, pondering them, and most importantly applying them to myself.
How grateful I am for the scriptures! They have blessed my life in so many ways. In them I find answers, am given comfort, recognize God’s hand in my life, learn how to trust, am inspired to serve others, and am drawn nearer to Christ.