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I've often thought how thankful I am that no one is sitting around a table in a small group studying my life! That would be scary! Looking back, it seems my mistakes outweigh the times I got it right. There is one thing for sure, I have certainly learned many lessons! This is what makes a Character Study so relevant to us, we learn from others.
A Character Study is a way to look closely at the life of one person in the Bible in order to learn from their mistakes and/or gain strength from their triumphs. It digs into their role in God's plan and how we can apply lessons learned to our own life.
I vividly remember sitting around a table with my friends as a child in Sunday School. The teacher would bring the Bible stories to life with nothing more than a flannel board and a few pictures. I thought the people in the Bible were super-human (the good ones at least), but one day it hit me- they were just flesh and blood. They didn't posses any superpowers. They learned through mistakes just as I have done.
This video shows two examples of a Character Study.
This type of study is eye-opening. There is so much to learn from digging into a character in the Bible. The samples are taken from the GRASP God's Word Bible Study book. This book is now being offered for a special price of $10.
To begin, you need to ask a few questions about the person you've chosen to study.
We want to learn:
When did they live?
Where did they live?
Their defining moment
How can we apply this to our life?
After you have this information, it's time to start digging into their lives. Look at the choices they made and how it changed them. What are their qualities, both good and bad? What was their purpose in God's plan and what lesson can we learn?
You can research as deeply as you want at this point. Spend some time learning more about the person so you can write a summary of their life. You may want to only look at a certain time period, or study their entire life. Here are some free resources available for Bible study, several of these have free apps:
A Character Study on the life of Jacob.
Sometimes, like Jacob, we must wrestle through our past in order to grow closer to God and fulfill our calling.
This study is on Jochebed, the mother of Moses. By faith she placed her baby into a basket and trusted God to protect. I learned so much studying Jochebed.
Lord, give me faith to protect what You've birthed in me and the courage to release it from my grasp and allow You to use it for Your glory!
We can learn so much from others. When we do a Character Study, it gives us a closer look at a person so we can understand them better. As we learn about individuals in the Bible, let us gain insight into our own life and grow closer to God.
Please send me some pictures of your Character Study!