Teens, You Can Enjoy the Bible - Part 2

To wrap up our Teens and the Bible series, we’ll be concluding with how to avoid some common obstacles that can keep you from enjoying your Bible.

Help to Avoid Common Obstacles

  1. Write a list of the framework or lens through which you see Scripture. We all have frameworks. Whether generational, social, cultural, political, etc.—we all bring our own assumptions to the Bible. Our own experiences and desires emerge each time we sit down to study a text. And when our study of the text challenges our frameworks, we need to decide which will take priority. In other words, we need to be aware of our frameworks, and then we must let the text be in charge. Rather than making it say what we want it to say, we must hear it for what it says.

Here is an example of the lens through which one of my teens would naturally see Scripture. (This is not an exhaustive list.)

  • American
  • Female
  • Teenager, Gen Z
  • White
  • Single
  • Diverse Public school experience
  • Middle Class

Realizing the above list helps her be aware that since the Bible was written to Jews (and eventually Gentiles) in the ancient world living in the Middle East, when she, as a 21st century teenager, reads the Bible, there are going to be some things that seem offensive. Instead of writing the Bible off as an out of touch book that only cares about patriarchs, she can take off her American glasses as much as possible and pick up her ancient Middle Eastern glasses.

This is easier said than done, but there are some ways to do this. First, pray for clarity. Make sure you are constantly approaching the Bible with fresh eyes. If something raises a red flag in your mind, ask if you might be seeing it through one of your frameworks. Last, consult many different translations of the Bible. Study Bibles often have a brief introduction to each book of the Bible which helps explain the framework. Here is a list of some Study Bibles for Teens if you don’t have one or have access to one. 

Remember, we must let the Bible shape our frameworks rather than letting our frameworks shape our interpretation of the Bible.

(Most of the information from the section above is taken from page 6 in this Charles Simeon Trust Principles of Exposition Overview.)

  1. Keep a notepad handy and jot down things you want to come back to later. Don’t get bogged down in everything you don’t understand. Try to find the one question that will be the key to opening up the rest of the text to you. Ignore the other questions for now.

  1. Don’t forget, if you have the Spirit of God living in you, he will help lead you into truth. You aren’t on your own! John 16:13a, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.”

  1. Start small and be consistent. If you’ve identified where it would be best for you to start your Bible reading (point 2), start there and start small. Maybe if you only read a few verses a day, that will keep you focused and engaged in it, Pick a time that is non-negotiable in your schedule. Could you leave your phone outside of the bathroom when you are in there and have your Bible on your bathroom counter to read instead?  Do your mom and/or dad read their Bibles at a certain time and you could join them? Try to remove distractions and be consistent with your time so there is a natural rhythm to it. 

  1. Remember you get to read your Bible. You don’t have to! Enjoy it and the encouragement and hope that comes from it! Romans 15:4, “Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”

Check out these other Blogs in the this Series:

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