So—it’s a New Year and a new you? Seems like everyone starts the new year with resolutions about how they’re going to better themselves—diet, exercise, volunteer work, etc.—and many Christians make the ‘pledge’ to read through their Bible in a year; and that’s great, but what is your purpose? Reading the Bible should be on your list of ‘to do’s’ whether you do resolutions or not; but you shouldn’t just be reading through it, or even ‘just’ studying it; learning more with each reread, and you should be sharing it with others. We must continue to study in order to continue to grow. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)
The Bible clearly states that we should be teaching others the Good News. (Matthew 28:19-20, 2 Timothy 1:6, Titus 1:9, Hebrews 5:12, 1 Peter 4:10) But so many of us don’t. We may witness to others, or share our testimony—and that’s wonderful—but we don’t actively teach the Gospel. We busy ourselves with us. We need to learn more, we need to focus more, we need to… But it’s not about ‘we’ [us], it’s about them. Why do we keep studying the same Scripture we can already quote? We remain immature in our studies, and consequently, our faith. We’re too comfortable where we’re at to push ourselves further, by teaching others. What good is the knowledge we’ve gained if we’re not 1) using it in our lives by a) living our lives according to Scripture b) understanding it to 2) teach others?
We know the basics—faith, salvation, eternal life. We need to be sharing these basics with new Christians, and non-Christians. As we share these basics, in turn, we will grow and understand more ourselves (undoubtedly questions from our ‘students’ will cause us to dive deeper into these basics and teach us something new). In order for us to continue our growth, we must move beyond these basic teachings (and just rereading the Bible yearly) to a more complete understanding of what the Bible says. (Hebrews 6:1-3).
Sharing with new Christians what you already know, and even introducing non-believers to this awareness, also helps teach and remind us of what we have already learned; putting into practice what we’ve studied. (Philippians 4:9) Hebrews 5:12-14 makes the comparison of infants that need milk, versus those that are ‘more mature’ and can eat solid food. We’ll never reach full nourishment in Christ if we continue to only consume milk; we’ve got to move on to more solid sustenance of what is in Scripture. (Note that we shouldn’t cut out the ‘milk’ once we move on, but incorporate it into our new régime; this is the way to stay fully sustained.) (Deuteronomy 11:18-23)
So—again—it’s a New Year and a new you! Resolutions or not, make a personal pledge to stop studying ‘just’ the basics of the Bible, and to dive in further and share your knowledge. Open yourself up to growing, developing and maturing in your faith. Most typical resolutions are self-involved, and while improving upon oneself is great, Christians are called to be people-involved: Love God, Love Others. We shouldn’t be focusing on ourselves so much, as we should be focusing on God’s children. It’s amazing when we do take the focus off of ourselves, how much more benefit we reap, than when we only tend to our own living. (Hebrews 6:7-8)