By Brianna Hines
I like fish. Who doesn’t? My grandpa is an avid fisherman, and there is nothing like fresh caught salmon hot off the barbecue. Add a little butter, a little lemon, and you have the taste of a five-star restaurant in your own backyard. Everyone loves a delicious fish filet, but fishing itself is a lot of work! It wasn’t until I actually started joining my grandpa in the boat that I realized just how costly a hobby it can be!
Sometimes we would spend an entire day on the river and not catch a thing. All those hours, all that gas, bait, gear and patience gone to waste in pursuit of a good fish dinner. But oh the joy of the catch! All of that work and time was nothing compared to the triumph of holding up our catch of the day. I remember each and every fishing trip with my grandpa, and those memories will stay with me forever.
When we hear a sermon, listen to a podcast, or read a good Christian book, we are getting a taste of biblical “fish,” or truths, and applications that other people have caught. Sure, we enjoy them in the moment, and they “feed” our souls for that day. But it just isn’t the same as something you learn or “catch” for yourself. How many of those hundreds of sermons, podcasts, and books do you actually remember in any detail?
But now think about something you DO remember. Do you remember how to make your favorite meal? How many times have you cooked that recipe? How many hours of work did you put into learning just the right amount of spice or salt to add to make it taste perfect? I would be willing to bet the things you remember the best, and will remember the longest, are those that required the most effort from you. There is something in our brains that connects effort with retention.
The same is true of Bible study. It is kind of like that old saying, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” If we want to live godly lives, then we need to actually remember how God says to do that in His Word! But living off the “fish” caught by other people isn’t going to cut it. Sure, it will feed us for that day, but the next day we will be hungry for someone else’s predigested interpretation of the Bible. If we want to be filled with God’s Word every single day, then we need to be women who know how to actually cast a line.
When we put in the work to actually study and understand the Bible for ourselves, we retain it so much more! And when an understanding of God’s Word is retained in our minds, it really does become soul food, not only for ourselves but also for those that we are able to readily share it with.
I don’t want to give you any predigested fish. It is my goal that you be catching your own fish to bring to your small group, that you be discovering truths you can retain and share with your friends, your coworkers, your children. Bible study is all about fishing for God’s truth, and I hope this study will help you catch some today, and every day, for the rest of your life!
Editor’s Note: Join UFC Women beginning today at 9:30 a.m. at Barn (or on Zoom) or at 6:30 p.m. in the church offices for Brianna Hines’ newest Bible study on First John. The cost for the newly published book is $15. Childcare will be provided for the morning study. If you are interested in joining the Zoom group, please contact Jamie Harms at firstname.lastname@example.org.