I’ve recently started a new study in my small group. It’s an in-depth study of Numbers — emphasis on in-depth.
The week-long sessions are broken down into days, but each day is several pages long, contains numerous cross references, and has a variety of questions, graphics and charts to fill out.
We’re all coming out of the holiday season and what was likely several weeks out of our normal routines. Starting this study was a jolt for me. The time and brain power I need to commit to this study each day reminded me why it is so important to prioritize Bible study.
I can’t try to do the whole study the day before our group meets or even procrastinate each day’s segment until late at night when I’m tired and ready for bed. The study will not be beneficial for me if I’m rushing through it or halfheartedly answering the questions.
And it doesn’t just affect me.
If I’m choosing to slack on my personal study time, I’m also affecting the community of women I study with. Bible study groups are important for the community, accountability and growth they offer. If I’m not prioritizing my time spent in prayer, diving into the text, and considering the interpretations, implications, and applications of that week’s passage, then I won’t be prepared to support, encourage and learn alongside other believers.
That’s why prioritizing Bible study is of the utmost importance.
And I get it, stuff happens; you can’t control everything. But if you’ve found yourself in a pattern of procrastinating, rushing or outright skipping your personal Bible study time, I encourage you to examine your day-to-day routine and see what you may be prioritizing over your study.
My personal tendency is to prioritize watching TV or reading books. When I get home from work, I don’t want to sit down and commit 30–45 minutes to more “work.” I’d rather veg out on the couch with my dinner. But when I do that, I look up and all of a sudden it’s 9 pm, my body is tired and my brain is dead, but I still need to do my Bible study.
Quality time with God
If I had prioritized my study, my evening would’ve looked different. I could’ve worked through that day’s section early in the evening, when my body and brain were fresher and more alert. That still likely would’ve given me time to watch some TV or read some of my book like I wanted to do, but more importantly, I would’ve had quality, unrushed time in Scripture.
So here’s my encouragement to you: Prioritize your study of God’s Word. You may not be working through a particular Bible study curriculum, but you can still be intentional to devote a part of your day to being in communion with God. Morning, afternoon, evening — whatever works for you. But do it. Be purposeful. It will benefit you and those you are in Christian community with.