New Believer Advantage

My friend in my Master’s program speaks seven languages. I was very intrigued by the number of languages she speaks so I started asking her questions about the order of languages she learned. She stated that her first two languages are native African languages, followed by French. Because her dad was a diplomat, she traveled the world and was able to pick up Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

I was amazed that she learned English recently, no more than five years ago. Her grammar and writing styles are impeccable. I found her helping other native English speakers by providing invaluable input in their research papers. I remarked and told her that she is doing such an incredible job. This was when she said to me that since she is not a native English speaker, she learned the grammatically correct English in class (she had a good environment to learn) and also was diligent in putting in the effort to understand the language. She also speaks and writes pure English because her English has not been corrupted with jargon that native English speakers sometimes use.

I found what she said phenomenal, especially if I use this analogy to illustrate the advantage new believers have in studying the bible!

I was raised in the church, and I tell you- I attended EVERY Sunday school service. I was in every VBS (Vocational Bible School), every Christmas concert, every volunteer event and every church camp since age two! My Sundays involved doing my memory verses. I remember memorizing Psalm 91, Psalm 23 etc. at an early age. Although I am happy about my Christian upbringing, I must say that I struggle with one thing as an adult- reading the bible. When I read the bible, I sometimes gloss over some things because this is something I grew up learning. I often hear the Holy Spirit tell me, “Slow down!” and when I do, I learn wonderful things.

I know a couple of people who recently got saved, and within one year, they still have that fire to read the word, the hunger they have is unbelievable. They are keen to look at the fine details in the scripture, just like my friend who was eager and diligent to learn the English language. Sometimes new believers have a better advantage because every story is new and they look at scripture with exceptional eyes. Of course, every new believer varies, but I am looking at the potential they have because they see the word in a new lens.

For this year, I am taking advantage of my journaling bible. I put away my old bible since it was falling apart, so I am hoping that this new journaling bible will help me SLOW down and let the Holy Spirit move through the word. It will also allow me to pause and jot down my thoughts on scripture or if a particular passage stands out.

Question: If you grew up in the church, do you resonate with the struggle that I have? Comment below, I am hoping to learn from your experience! Also, if English is not your native language, please let me know if you share the same sentiments as my friend regarding learning the language!

I wish you a fruitful year learning and re-learning the word of God.

Made of Still

19 thoughts on “New Believer Advantage

  1. I grew up in church too and yes sometimes we tend to gloss over the very familiar verses or passages. I have to slow down and take time with them on purpose to allow room for the Holy Spirit to show or reveal something new to me.

  2. I have been a Christian for many years. Having a ministry for refugees and immigrants who have little or no prior knowledge about Jesus has helped me to eliminate Christnese or our jargon as I share.

    I only speak Spanish and Portuguese for other languages, but studying them and teach ESL have caused me to realized how poor the every day English is for many native English speakers.

  3. I am like the others..I grew up in the church. beyond that I attended k-8th grades in a Christian school + bible college + seminary. I do gloss over verses thinking I know the passage well enough. Yet since I have been blogging and looking for verses to expound upon, I read a verse from here or there and stop and dwell on it. I have been very surprised this year at the things I have learned and seen from a fresh angle when slowing down. That one verse may lead me to look up the whole passage that it came from and then I have a wealth of new understanding (all over again).

    1. Oh wow!!! Glad to know that blogging is helping with your bible reading!! 📖 Wow, you went all the way through seminary!!!!
      Thank you so much for sharing. I am learning a lot through everyone’s experiences ♥️

  4. I also grew up in church, but I didn’t really start reading the Bible on my own until I took a college course on the Bible. Once I started reading, God started speaking to me, and it felt like my faith was rejuvenated. I try to do daily devotionals now, and though I definitely skip days, I try to do it when possible because I always feel the Spirit moving when I read scripture.

    1. Hello there 🌺🌺🌺Glad to heat you took initiative to start reading the Bible on your own. I too feel rejuvenated when I read the word! Thanks for dropping by and sharing your experience, I appreciate it!

  5. A great share. Reading the Bible requires us engaging His spirit in us. He always aids us and causes us to see the light of His word to us.

    I didn’t start reading “intentionally” until few years back. Rather than seeing it as some routine without insight.

    1. Hey there! Thanks for dropping by 🌸🌸🌸 I agree with what you said, the Bible reading does require us to engage with the Holy Spirit!
      Glad to hear that you started reading the word intentionally ❤️ It is indeed very important.
      Have a blessed weekend!

  6. I agree with your propositions. New believers are like babies, they are curious, innocent and ready to explore. People who have been in the faith tend to have a been there done that and know it all attitude which keeps them from growing in their faith life. Many we never lose our wonder and hunger for God’s word.
    With regards to English, I agree with your friend. A long time ago, I discovered that many native English speakers do not speak good English. It amuses me, sometimes.

  7. I enjoyed your post! Actually just recently I sensed the Lord telling me to slow down and take my time when reading. Because I too will try and skip a verse if it’s familiar to me. But every time we read, the Lord can reveal something new, so we should still read every word. Your friend is impressive! I only speak English and know a few basic words and sentences in Spanish. My daughter is currently working in Spain and speaks Spanish well. She has studied it for many years. 😊

    1. Thank you for your perspective!!! I agree 💯 and relate with skipping verses when familiar 😰. I am glad that the Lord speaks to us and through his Holy Spirit we get convicted.
      Spanish is such a lovely language! Your daughter is blessed and highly favored and so are you!

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