Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: Are you qualified to study the Bible?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Are you qualified to study the Bible?

We've all fallen into the trap of comparison. But have you ever tripped up and started comparing your spiritual walk to someone who looks "more spiritual" or "more qualified"? Have you ever questioned whether or not you are qualified to read and study the Bible on your own?

I've seen many women insist that they have nothing to give, that they don't know enough about the Word of God to be able to lead or encourage others. It is heartbreaking to know that so many women stay quiet about what God is teaching them because they don't have the ministry title or the "book learnin'" to back them up.

In the presence of divinity students or powerful Christian leaders, it is easy to feel unqualified in comparison.

When everyone else looks more qualified

Choosing to be a work-at-home Mama and homemaker, I know that these feelings of un-qualified-ness could possibly be a reoccurring theme in my future, if I let them. I am often surrounded by confident women, or divinity students that know way more Greek words than I do, or people who just seem to know more stuff. 

To make things worse, our culture is inundated with speakers, authors, podcasters, bloggers and Instagrammers who speak on the Word of God authoritatively. They can be intimidating, especially when we assume that they must have some special gift, or that they were just born that way and Bible study comes naturally to them. How could I have anything to say?

Comparison is never productive, but it is especially detrimental when we compare our spiritual walks to others. One of the greatest lies we could ever believe is that we don't have what we need to have a thriving spiritual walk with Jesus, or that we are unqualified to truly know scripture.

The best teacher

But you don't need a ministry title, a spiritual podcast, or a theological degree from a prestigious christian college to know the Bible, or to know Jesus, or to live in communion with the Holy Spirit.

Why? Because you already know the best teacher!

In one of the most intimate interactions between Jesus and His best friends on the eve of His death, He gives them these words of comfort to assure them that, even when He has died, He has not left them:

 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." John 14:26

No one can teach you better than the Holy Spirit. Not just teach you about God or the Bible, but everything you need to know about life. Jesus does not tell them, "He will teach you spiritual things" or "He will teach you some things," but "He will teach you all things."

Do you know what this means?
That no matter where you are in life or where you've been,
no matter how much schooling you have or haven't had,
no matter how unqualified you feel compared to everyone else,

you have the best teacher in the world always by your side, in your heart, ready to whisper in your ear, to give you answers, or guide you in the right direction, or give you whatever you need in that moment.

That's incredible news.

The best thing you can do

So the best thing you can do? It doesn't involve comparing yourself to the other women in your life, or looking to someone else to teach you how to spend time with God, or applying for divinity school (even though that last one sounds like it would be awesome).

The best thing you can do is read the Word of God. They are the very words of Jesus just for you.
Not only that, but learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, who was sent to help you and teach you, in all life things (not just spiritual things).

God did not give us the Bible only to be read by the people who know stuff, but for everyone. The plumber, the housewife, and the president. Everyone. That means you could never be unqualified to read - and understand - His Word. Because if He wrote it for you, He's also going to give you everything you need to understand it.
The Holy Spirit knows what to do in every life situation. And He's talking to you all the time. Give Him a chance to be heard! Open up your Bible, even if it's just for a few minutes. And let the Teacher teach you, personally, one-on-one, and in every area of life.
Linking up with some awesome parties here!


  1. This is an awesome post Casey! So true. As a young believer, I didn't think I was qualified. Now, being more experienced I know that He is with me but your post will encourage many others who don't know it. I'm a neighbor from Heart Encouragement, God bless you, Steph

  2. Hi! Casey,
    You are absolutely right we shouldn't look to the right or to the left but to the one who is the lover of our soul. Jesus departed from this earth, and left us the amazing gift of the Holy Spirit! So glad I found you today on #ChasingCommunity
    Blessings, Misty

  3. Wonderful encouragement. Especially where what He speaks to one person through the Word can be something totally different than the other person, yet equally relevant and insightful. His Word truly is alive and active.


  4. This is relevant. I like your emphasis on the Holy Spirit teaching us and being the Best Teacher.
    The More we lean on the more we hear from Him.
    God Bless