“I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of”—John 10:10 (MSG).
Have you ever asked yourself, “How did I get here?” When you’re lost, whether it’s physically, emotionally or spiritually, maybe it’s time to stop and reassess where you are. While reading a recent Q & A interview with author Bob Goff, I was intrigued with his response to the following question: “Why did you trade in ‘Bible study’ for ‘Bible doing’ and what’s the difference?”
Goff said, “I love reading scripture and find tremendous comfort and perspective in exploring God’s Word. However, I stopped going to Bible studies a while ago. Instead, I go to a ‘Bible doing.’”
Since I had never encountered the term, ‘Bible doing,’ I wanted to know more. Goff explains the concept by saying he spent the first couple of decades of his faith in Bible studies, getting together with others, reading the Bible and talking about what words meant in Greek and Latin. In addition, the group would discuss the customs, culture and surroundings at the time as well as the origins of certain words. As a trial lawyer by training, Goff was a man who memorized facts well. “So when I went to Bible studies,” he says, “I’d just memorize more and more facts about Jesus.”
Goff could tell you all about Jesus’ mom, where He grew up, what He had for dinner, every wedding or event He showed up at and how many boats were on the Sea of Galilee. However, he says, “Honestly, I didn’t know Him.”
Goff adds, “I think it was because we never actually did anything together. I was just too busy memorizing Him. What I realized is that I had become a lot like a stalker—someone who just collects facts and information about people they’re too scared to meet.”
What Goff soon realized is that “by just memorizing Jesus, I had actually turned into kind of a stalker. What I concluded is that Jesus doesn’t want us to just memorize Him. He wants us to experience life with and through Him.”
Since that day, Goff doesn’t do Bible studies. He still gets together with the same group but now they call it a “Bible doing.” He says, “The difference between the two is more than just a turn on a phrase. What we do now is read scripture and ask ourselves what we’re actually going to do about it. Jesus never asked His disciples to agree with Him. Instead, He told them to take all of the faith they had, all of the scripture they knew and go do something about it. We want to do the same.”
Although memorizing facts and scripture can be beneficial, if we don’t do something with our faith, of what value is the first? In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
Don’t just read and study. Begin “doing” the Bible.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. (See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.) When she isn’t writing, she can be found spending time with her seven grandchildren, working in her yard, volunteering, shooting photos, hiking, going on mission trips and playing with her spoiled rotten dog, Harley.