Yesterday in Part 1 of this review, I outlined briefly my experience with reading the Bible as well as the many heroes written in it to learn from. This second part explores a few more areas I particularly valued.
Great Teaching Through Stories
I love storytelling and I know its a powerful way to teach and convey a message. This is definitely one of the reasons the Bible has as much impact on so many as it does, its full of hundreds of incredible short stories all weaved together in the greatest Love story of all time. That is of God sending his only Son to suffer and die on the Cross to pay for sins of all people through all of time. So of course that over arching story has deep meaning for me as a Christian, but most people will likely connect more with individual stories from the bible and what is taught in them.
When it comes to story telling, Jesus used stories and parables more than any other teacher and He did so with such a deep understanding, sometimes the message He sends with each story cannot be fully comprehended simply hearing it once. Some of Jesus’ stories and the messages He shared can really take years of study to fully understand. In fact, there are scholars and teachers still dissecting the meaning of each story today, 2000 years after the stories were originally told. Now I don’t know about you, but if I’m able to ever tell a story profound enough that even one person retells it I’ll be ecstatic, let alone millions of people teaching it 2 millenium later.
There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death; there is no discharge in that war.
Ecclesiastes, 8. 8
What Matters in Life
Another significant thing the Bible does like no other book is trigger many, many reflective questions about the things that matter most in life. Contemplating some of the stories and instructions from God does much to activate these questions in a hope to understand more of what mattes in our own lives in comparison to some of the heroes, villains and variety of people from the Bible. The example of how Jesus lived his live with servant hood and perfect obedience to God forces one to ponder if any of those same things matter in your own life. Are material possessions and temporary things on Earth getting in the way of you knowing and living the life you truly desire? What about the effort put into your relationships and serving others? Do you have a purpose and what is getting in the way of living it?
Personally, those questions really matter to me and so does the context of them. Of course its still a daily struggle to escape the undesirable and temptations I face, yet I find myself continually spiraling closer and closer to what always seems like a more defined purpose. Yet with each loop of this spiral it seems to morph into more of a funnel and I find the questions taking me deeper and deeper into the funnel. I’ve deepened my beliefs and faith in serving greatly by reflecting on all the stories and examples and by learning so much more through study. There are so many great references, teachings, messages and stories to ponder you can’t help but look at where applying that in your own life is valuable. Also, the moral foundation is so easy to apply to great relationships, true honesty, continual integrity and love for others.
Connections To Personal Development
All these beautiful ways to learn present a huge opportunity to improve oneself and that is where it connects deeply to most areas of personal development in today’s writings, teachings and courses. Many of the books, quotes and role models in personal development today have moral foundations, beliefs and a servant attitude that stems from the Bible. Whether its an intentional connection or not, much of what we study in personal development is a result of both old testament teachings and Jesus’ life here on Earth.
Whether your looking for examples of moral leadership, trust, integrity or friendships, its all here. From the beginning to the end (pun intended), its the Word of God. You’ll find nearly every area of personal development and a challenge to explore your own character to a level beyond what most would ever dare to start. Beautiful examples of the golden rule, servant hood, obedience, purpose and true faith are here in the one book nearly everyone has but seldom reads. It’s by far the best book I’ve ever read and is so profound I could put all other books away and just continue to learn by rereading this; the greatest book of all time.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12: 31-32
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