Get It Yourself!
Something has more value when you get it yourself. All can attest to feeling pride when hard, earned
money is used to purchase something that was really wanted. “I got that myself, because I worked for it,” is the warm feeling one usually gets. The purchased object has much personal meaning and value because it was earned.
Pride and value are not usually gained as much when something is given to a person. Proof of this is quite often seen in government housing. The people, because of their economic condition, were allowed to live in housing provided for them at unusually low rates or for free. Because it was given and they did not earn it, it is usually not taken care of. It is not uncommon that government housing areas are often the worst looking areas in the community for that reason.
Cafeteria workers in public schools often attest to their disgust in the waste they see of uneaten, “free” food. Someone else paid for the children to get “free” breakfasts or lunches. Because there was no pride in working for it, or knowing mom and dad had to work and pay for the food, the children took a couple bites, or none at all, and tossed it away.
When cheating on a test, a student may pass the exam, but the knowledge and self-respect of learning the material were never obtained. Study habits are never developed because the student found an easy way to pass without getting the knowledge for himself.
Money given is not as important as when it is earned. When a child is given “birthday” money, they, without much thought, go out and spend it on whatever they want. They do not usually have the same attitude with money they scrimped and saved from doing chores and odd jobs.
This “get-it-easily” attitude can also be applied to the things of God. When a person sits in the pew and just absorbs what is preached from the pulpit, what is gained is not as important to them as if he had mined the Word of God himself. It may be why so many Christians know so little about the Bible. It also may be why God has preserved II Timothy 2:15 for us. It says: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
When one becomes a “workman” and digs into the scriptures to get the truth for himself, much is gained. First, it shows himself and the Lord, that knowing the truth is important enough to spend his own time to obtain what God has said about the subject. He will never be ashamed of how he got his knowledge. He will have pride in knowing the knowledge gained, and get closer to God after reaping the rewards for his labor. The time spent will help etch the truths of the scriptures in his mind, will help him memorize it, and will help him see how other verses say similar truths. The learned truths will not be forgotten as easily as if they just were told to them from the pulpit, without looking to see what actually was written.
After delving into the scriptures, one would “rightly” divide the truth from fiction. They would actually learn what God said about a matter, rather than rely on hearsay knowledge, someone else’s interpretation, personal opinion, or non-biblical traditions. They might even see what their religion or cult teaches is actually blasphemous. They certainly would quickly learn from God’s own Word what they must do to please Him.
Getting biblical knowledge requires too much effort for many; thus they never read and study the Bible for themselves. Too many would rather trust a professional preacher, pastor, or minister to tell them what the Bible says. The attitude quite often is “He spent years in seminary studying it,” or “I cannot understand the Bible, so I need someone to tell me what it says”. You would be very surprised at what some of the “professional religionists” believe or say about the scripture. I have talked to many of those that others are counting on for their biblical knowledge, only to find that those leaders have little knowledge of the Bible, or believe doctrines that are not actually taught in God’s word. Those sitting in the pews will never know the difference, because they never got the knowledge for themselves.
If the knowledge is not gotten for oneself the hard way, by reading and studying, his spiritual life will suffer. He will make wrong, unbiblical, thus ungodly decisions. He will not have the proper spiritual guidance and may go in wrong directions where God would not have him to go. Discernment of what is right and wrong will be skewed by not having the proper, spiritual measuring tool, the Bible, to gauge his decisions. Without the proper counsel, it would not be long until wrong priorities and interests are developed and guiding one’s life, rather than the wisdom of God. Wrong dedications will also lead one away from what God would have them do, because they never read for themselves what God really wants them to deem important in their life. Not heeding and feeding on the truth’s taught in the Bible will lead all into ungodliness. If all Christians would get more wisdom of God from the Book of God themselves, a lot of non-biblical-centered churches would find a lot more empty pews, because the readers of the Bible would discern what was taught there was not of God.
God is so good to allow us still to have his Word with us (Isaiah 40:8).
It is the only way one can possibly know His true mind. Sadly, personal reading of the Holy Scriptures is lacking. Too many, who profess being children of God, have never completely read the Word of God for themselves. Read your Bible and obtain its truth for yourself. It will mean more to you, and the rewards of knowing His truth will change your life.