I’ve been loving unpacking my new place. It is so exciting, not only having the boxes to unpack, but the environment to explore, and settle and find a place for all of my bits and pieces. There’s also the joy of unwrapping something I may have forgotten exists (though it’s only been a week), and having the opportunity again to ask myself if I really need this, what does it mean to me and how does it fit in my world.
I was thinking about unpacking in light of study. Study is one of my favourite activities. It thrills me to spend time reading, seeking to understand things. To allow new meaning to filter through my mind, challenge schema and paradigms and settle itself in a new way in my world.
When we study (defined as ‘the devotion of time and attention to gaining knowledge of an academic study, especially by means of books; a detailed investigation and analysis of a subject of a situation’), we afford ourselves an opportunity to grow; in knowledge and understanding, which we can hope and trust leads to wisdom.
Study involves unpacking; unpacking meaning, experiencing joy in discovering new meaning, and an opportunity to decide if and how that new meaning will settle itself into our own personal world.
A lot of people think study is boring, hard work, and tedious. Not fun. To be able to better gauge the world we live in though, is a wonderful motivation for study. To be able to better understand who we are in light of the world we live in, is a wonderful motivator. To be able to better understand who we are in light of God’s Word, is the greatest motivator to study.
Yes, it can involve reading a lot. Yes, it does mean your brain can be put through the pump. Yes, it can be that it hurts to think so much. Yes, it can be uncomfortable to allow new meaning in our lives that triggers painful memories, but knowing and understanding the truth and application of this new meaning brings freedom.
2 Timothy 2:15 says, ‘Study to show yourselves approved… as workmen.. rightly dividing the Word of truth. The Bible says we should study; not to be approved by God, but to help us better understand how we are already approved by Him, through Christ Jesus.
As we study, and when I say study, I am really thinking about studying God’s Word; we are able to experience a similar joy to that when we unpack treasures and settle them into a new home.
I love studying the Hebrew and Greek meanings of the Words in the Bible. In the (many and varied) translation(s) the true meaning is sometimes lost, or rather, not as explicit as it could be, and so breaking apart words to discover their original intention in the context of where they sit and were written really enables me to understand how the words affect me as a Christian. When I do this I know better who I am and how God has called and created me to live. This brings joy.
Studying God’s Word allows us to experience our Lord in a more intimate and personal way, because He is the Word, and studying the Word is studying Him.
Study God. Study Jesus. As we behold Him we become like Him. That is our true purpose for study; to know Him better and to reflect Him more clearly, which comes through wisdom and knowing His love.
Although all study is good, it is the Word, the truth, that brings freedom and joy to us. The unpacked treasure that is the Word of God filtering its way into our minds, into our hearts, and coming alive on the inside of us. Unpack that treasure, its worth it.