Do You Have a Good Personal Study Program?
1 ‘If only I had more time to study. I just can’t seem to find the time!’ Have you heard anyone make this statement? Perhaps you have made it yourself. Do you find it difficult to set aside time for personal study? Does it seem sometimes that other things interfere with your personal and family study? Yes, it takes real effort to set aside sufficient time for studying. Obviously, there are many activities that can consume our time. On the other hand, our own sinful flesh can cause us to put off personal study. (Compare Romans 7:18-20.) If you have experienced difficulties in this regard, what can you do to improve your study habits? First, ask yourself: How important is personal study to me? Can I do more than I am doing presently? Where will I find the needed time? Do I have a good arrangement for study? If you do, fine! But if not, now is the time to develop a good schedule.
2 Additionally, think about why it is so important to do personal study. Is it enough to try to get by with only what you can absorb at the meetings, without doing personal study? In time your spiritual health will reflect your neglect. To grow spiritually we have to put forth diligent personal effort. If we have a tendency to neglect personal study, we would do well to reflect upon the need for accurate knowledge in order to have Jehovah’s approval.—2 Tim. 2:15.
SCHEDULING PERSONAL STUDY
3 Plan definite times for personal study. Establish a schedule that will fit your particular life pattern. Perhaps you can spend 10 to 15 minutes each day studying or reading the Bible. Some persons do this early in the morning, or before going to bed at night. Others take advantage of time spent while riding on public transportation, waiting for an appointment or during lunch breaks. If you incorporate some of these suggestions in your schedule for personal study, you may be delighted at how much you can accomplish in just a few minutes every day. Of course, once the schedule is made, you should stick to it. If you fail to maintain a good schedule for personal study, your efforts are likely to be too haphazard to be successful. So, strive to prevent anything from interfering with your personal study arrangements. Our rate of spiritual growth, to a large extent, is governed by the regularity and the quality of our personal study.—Ps. 1:2.
BENEFITS OF PERSONAL STUDY
4 At Proverbs 2:1-5 we are counseled to “find the very knowledge of God.” We can never hope to acquire the “knowledge of God” unless we study his Word. By personal study we impress more deeply upon our minds and hearts Scriptural material designed to draw us closer to Jehovah. We can more readily note details and check specifics of the material discussed at meetings if we have considered it privately, beforehand. By using good study methods we will find that our reading ability will improve, as well as our grammar and choice of words. We will give better talks and be more upbuilding in our comments at meetings and home Bible studies. We will learn more and remember more, as Jehovah’s Word is sounded down into our minds and hearts. This will help us to be better equipped to make decisions when faced with important issues. Our shield of faith can then offer greater protection from this world’s wicked influences. Yes, the more we learn, the better prepared we will be to give others the reasons for our Kingdom hope.—1 Pet. 3:15.
5 Life-giving knowledge comes from God, but it is not acquired or retained without considerable personal effort. A positive attitude will go a long way toward helping us to gain accurate knowledge. (Col. 3:10) Personal study plays a vital part in growth to maturity and in keeping ourselves strong spiritually and properly equipped for Jehovah’s service. Be willing to ‘pay the price’ of time and effort in studying God’s Word. It surely is worth it!