The story you’re about to hear is an event that changed my life. It relates to consistent Bible study, but it may not seem like it at first…read on! 😉
I remember this discussion on Facebook like it was yesterday. It was probably 8 years ago or so. A sister in Christ had asked why so many Christians were going to see The Hunger Games in theatres. I honestly hadn’t given it much thought! But I had seen it with friends, read the books, and had raved about it on Facebook. Besides my mom saying, “Oh, that sounds awful! Why would you want to see that??” 😂 I hadn’t really considered that some people might think less of me for liking that series.
But there were a TON of comments from Christian sisters on that post – and most of them didn’t agree with seeing the movie at all. I was actually a little taken aback and somewhat confused. I attributed a lot of it to the fact that none of them had actually SEEN it or knew much about the actual story.
So I wrote a reply that it wasn’t gratuitous killing – there was a whole point to the story, a dangerous narrative that we could all learn from and guard against in our society. There were actually even parts that reminded me of the history of Rome and how extravagant they had been. Just like the Romans, the powerful people would feast until they were full, make themselves vomit, and then start all over again. And of course there was the whole thing about killing people for sport.
It was actually a powerful visual of a self-indulgent society led by a ruthless leader.
Now, I don’t want this to turn into a discussion about The Hunger Games in particular. (In fact, I only mentioned exactly what movie it was so that you would know it wasn’t Magic Mike or anything. 😬) I genuinely hope you won’t think less of me for watching that series, but it did teach more to be a little more careful about what I watch and recommend. (To be honest, I haven’t seen them in awhile and there probably is language none of us would appreciate.)
But that’s actually NOT what changed my life. I gained a perspective shift that day. I remember talking about the violence in the Bible, how the Bible isn’t G-rated either. I remember agreeing that yes, we should definitely think on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable.” (Philippians 4:8) But I voiced that sometimes there was ugliness in the world that we had to deal with. And stories like The Hunger Games helped us understand where NOT to go wrong. I might have even thrown in there that The Andy Griffith Show isn’t even free from sin. (I can’t remember for sure! But that’s a thought I’ve had at some point.)
And a sister I didn’t know simply commented that we can learn all of that from the Bible. Why was there any need to go elsewhere?
I had to take an honest look at my habits…and I was ashamed. I loved to read and spent a lot of time reading. I loved watching movies and shows – and while I didn’t watch “the worst kinds of things” (in my book), I definitely watched too much of them. Especially of the romantic comedy genre.
I hadn’t been studying my Bible very much at all. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t remember the last time I had opened it outside of church service.
In that moment I knew something had to change. And it did. I no longer resisted the promptings of the Holy Spirit to seek God in His Word.
Around the same time, I had a friend with differing religious beliefs message me to ask some questions. We talked back and forth quite a bit after that, sorting things out and trying to figure out what the Bible said about certain things. I remember poring over my Bible and it really came alive – maybe for the first time?
Looking back, I have a strong suspicion that God coordinated those 2 events. And I am humbled and grateful that it happened, no matter how it happened.
I feel like things finally clicked the more I studied – and I started putting together pieces of the Bible that I had learned about all of my life. I had WANTED to WANT to study for as long as I could remember. (You know that feeling?) But mostly I just didn’t. I knew I should. I felt guilty when I just didn’t want to.
Now, I’m not saying that I’m perfect in this Bible study habit, because I still feel like I’ve got some ways to go. (And will for all of my life, I feel certain.) But somehow, some way, I’ve learned some things about consistent Bible study. And even if I don’t do the exact same things every day, I have found some consistency that makes sense throughout the week.
The other Ruffled Mango ladies surely all have different stories than mine. And your story is going to be different than any of ours. But we’ve heard from you ladies that you also have struggled with consistent Bible study. I feel 100% certain that the devil himself is to blame for distracting us, enticing us with literally THOUSANDS of other things. He whispers in your ear, “You don’t have time today. This other thing is WAY more important. And certainly more fun.”
That’s why we created The Obstacle Course. To help us navigate the hurdles to consistent Bible study. To clear the way – help knock out the distractions, simplify our lives & create margin to do The Most Important Thing.
Because I’m telling you…it’s SO worth it. 💙 ~Kristen
Right now, The Obstacle Course isn’t open to new students, but stay tuned when the doors open again this fall!
We hope you’ll join us on the inside! ~Kristen