Saturday, August 18, 2012

A note from Bob

So I was reading 'Love Does' a few weeks ago, and I came across a chapter that I wanted to share with you guys. I guess because it is so thought-provoking to me, and the words hold more and more value for me as I read over them.

What's up with equating "Bible Study" with knowing God anyway? Wouldn't it be a horrible thing if we studied the ones we loved instead of bonding in deeper ways by doing things with them? I'd never want to get married to a girl no matter how much I studied her. I'd rather take her sailing or fishing or eat cotton candy with her on a Ferris wheel. I don't think knowing her name in Greek is going to help me love her more. In fact, they have a name for guys who just study things about a person they like but don't do anything about it - they're called bachelors.


So I started getting together with the same guys each week and instead of calling it a Bible study, we call it a "Bible doing." We've been at it for 15 years now, and I've found there's a big difference between the two. At our Bible doing, we read what God has to say and then focus all of our attention on what we are going to do about it. Just agreeing isn't enough. I can't think of a single time where Jesus asked His friends to just agree with Him. 


If you get engaged like that, you'll be able to remember Bible verses better because you're living them instead of just reading them. Another by-product of engagement is all the canned answers we have to complex questions melt away. I think that is because we see ourselves in the context of something larger that is unfolding. The details aren't distractions; they are ladder rungs we can pull ourselves up on. We remember because we are no longer observers. I think Jesus had in mind that we would not just be 'believers' but 'participants.' Not because it's hip, but because it's more accurate, more fitting that way. He wanted people who got to the 'do' part of faith, not because he wanted activity, but because He wanted our faith to matter to us. 


We need to make our faith our very own love story.


Collecting information about someone is not the same as knowing a person. Stalkers are ordinary people who study from afar the people they're too afraid to really know.

This book has had some incredibly inspiring stories, and I imagine I'll read it a hundred more times. But I loved this spin on Bible studies because Bob doesn't say they are a bad thing, but just that it is all the more important to find where and how those Scriptures can intersect how we live. And how they can add to the love story you have with the Father and with Jesus. It's easy to get away from the love story piece. Because sometimes it's easier to read just to gain knowledge. But being challenged to read, and then do something with what you read is a bigger assignment. Especially if you're meeting with friends and asking each other what they are going to do with what you just read. I think that piece of accountability is hugely important, because Scriptures will mean different things to each of us. 

Which is why I wanted to share this with you guys in particular. Because I hope that this is the kind of relationship we can all have together. To spur one another on to love. And to learn better and more challenging ways to add Scriptures into our lives, and make them part of our love story.

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