The benefits of reading your Bible branch out to every area of your life. From neurological benefits, to deeper connection to God, the benefits of reading your Bible outweigh the effort it takes to dig in.
I became a Christian when I was 8 years old. Since that time, I’ve gone through many seasons of reading my Bible consistently and then forgetting to read my Bible. I’ve tried many different reading plans and also had seasons of “winging it.” Reading our Bible is crucial to our spiritual discernment and growing our faith.
Reading Your Bible is Good for Your Brain
“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Proverbs 12:25
In my journey through depression and anxiety, I have eventually had to recognise that the thoughts I have in my mind contribute to the life I live and the mood I’m in. If I have harsh and critical thinking toward myself and others, I am going to turn into a harsh and critical person. If I read and watch content that cultivates fear and stress, those feelings will have a ripple effect throughout my life. However, if I fill my mind with content that cultivates joy and hope, I will be able to think more joyful and hopeful thoughts. The more you focus on a thought or belief, the more you will believe that thought or belief.
This is precisely why reading your Bible is good for your brain. The Bible is full of good words that make our hearts glad (see Proverbs 12:25 above). When we read the Bible, dopamine is released throughout our bodies. Dopamine is one of the main chemicals that give us feelings of happiness. Filling our minds with words of life from the Bible will literally give us new life.
Reading Your Bible Nourishes Your Soul
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall fun and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
I am an avid reader, so when I found out I was pregnant with my first I read all the books I could find about pregnancy. Of course, the focus of many of these books is nutrition. Avoiding soft cheeses, sushi, and adding in foods that will give you plenty of folate were among the many recommendations I would read about. What isn’t often discussed in those books is how to nourish your soul. And, to be honest, any attempt to address soul care was flimsy at best.
One thing “postpartum culture” gets wrong a lot of time is focusing only on self care. While self care is a wonderful starting place (like getting dressed every day), if we are truly going to heal then we need more. Our souls thirst for the Living Word, Jesus. When you read your Bible, we have a deeper connection with Jesus and our faith is strengthened. Our soul needs nourishment, and the only place we can get this is from Jesus.
Helps You Find Your Community
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25
I am the first to admit that Christians are less than perfect. I grew up going to many different churches in different denominations. As a child, I would complain about going to church. By the time I was in high school, however, my family was going through turmoil. If I wanted to go to church, I had to go on my own. When I had no one else to turn to, my church family was there for me. I had friends at youth group, elderly mentors that came alongside me and supported me through one of the toughest times of my life.
I don’t know what your experience with church has been, if any. What I do know is that loneliness is an epidemic that has swept our society. Western culture has created an environment of solitude. Our families live far away many times these days, and we are often longing to find a “tribe.” While I can’t promise that your local church will be perfect (in fact, I can promise that it won’t), I can tell you that there are people that care in at least one of the churches in your community. Find a church that teaches sound doctrine (meaning they go to the Bible to find out what God thinks).
Reading your Bible encourages us to meet together with other Christians (see Hebrews 10:25 above). If you’ve been burned by Christians or a church, I’m so sorry. I hope you will give it another chance, especially if you’re facing motherhood and life in solitude. We were never meant to live in solitude.
The Bible is the Word of God
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope.” Psalm 130:5
“Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” Proverbs 30:5
Next week we will explore why getting outside every day can help us heal from postpartum depression.
6 things to do when you feel depressed series:
- Get Dressed
- Read Your Bible
- Go Outside
- Do one thing you enjoy
- Make your surroundings smell incredible
- Deep breaths