I want to tell you what a stinky pair of shoes taught me about studying the Bible. Last summer, I started wearing my white tennis shoes without socks because I didn’t have those tiny little socks that are nearly invisible and pairing my hot pink and neon yellow socks looked awfully funny.
Anyway, I chose to forgo sock wearing with my white shoes because I wanted to at least try to look normal. As a result of walking around with sweaty feet and no socks, my shoes got pretty stinky. They looked lovely but smelled awful. I washed them once but the material shrunk in the dryer and my poor little feet were squeezed to death the first few days of wearing them again. So at that point, it was either throw out the white shoes, wear them stinky, or sport the neon socks proudly. I chose the latter. I couldn’t part with the shoes. But they were stinky without socks so I spiced them up with the hot pink ones.
I know, I know. You’re probably thinking, “Why didn’t she just buy new socks?” That would have been far too logical. But it’s a good thing that I didn’t run and buy new socks because my stinky shoe experience inspired a much deeper and more enriching experience when it came to studying Scripture.
Here’s why: Think of my stinky white shoes like the pages of the bible. Just like the shoes complete every outfit, the Word points to what completes every soul on this planet: God alone. But appreciating the shoes is hard when they are stinky. We may stop wearing them completely. In the same way, appreciating the Word is hard when our study is stinky, boring, and bland. We may stop reading it completely, only because we don’t have the proper tools to rid of the stink.
We can wash our shoes, which temporarily fixes the stink problem but they may hurt our feet, and eventually, if we keep wearing them as we did before, they will begin to stink again. In the same way, we can come the Word with a new approach, try a wicked new bible study with lovely little devotions each day but if we’re just checking Bible Study of the to-do list, making it look neat and pretty, we’re going to have a hard time experiencing Jesus abundantly. And eventually, our bible study will be boring, bland, and stinky again. Just like the stinky white shoes.
So what’s my point? When I stopped worrying about doing “normal”, when I took a risk and let my neon socks show, my shoes weren’t stinky and I actually wanted to wear them. I’d like to say that my fun socks made wearing my shoes more fun, more vibrant, and more lively. The same goes for my bible study. When I began to unpack the Word instead of just skimming it or strictly following a neat and tidy study plan, I chose to make it a vibrant, personal, and lively experience. I was tired of a stinky bible study.
Everyone was raving about the bible, so I set out to find ways to make it come to life in my personal life. I shook off the lies that told me how I should study the Word and met God in prayer. Some argue that it’s wrong to mark up my Bible; some say it’s destructive and disrespectful. But you know what? The fashion police probably would say the same thing about pairing neon socks with cute white shoes, but it worked for me.
So I decided that from that point on, ain’t no body gon’ tell me how to know my Jesus. Or how to wear my shoes, for that matter. And I want you to experience this same freedom.
Can I take your hand and whisper a Truth I wish I would have been told earlier?
Let yourself interact with the Word.
God wrote it for you so that you may know Him. It’s not disrespectful to let your walk with Him be vibrant. Let your time studying Scripture be vibrant, colorful, and alive. God isn’t dead. He isn’t the fashion police. He’s a friend and a Father. Get to know Him. And enjoy getting to know Him. Enjoy wearing the Word in your heart. Let it be splashed full of neon colors and notes and every other mark that brings it to life for you. Because I’m a firm believer that when we learn to be messy before God, in His Word and at His feet, we are incredibly equipped to be more bold and confident in this big world.
I’m revealing all of the methods I use to cultivate and create a more vibrant, yet fully intentional, Bible study in my latest Ebook. From highlighting to drawing connections and unpacking the hidden mysteries, it’s all there for you.
Like I always say, spill your soul across the pages of Scripture.
Because messy in the Word = more confidence in the world.