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Bible journaling, note-taking, and highlighting in our bibles are common things among believers. Much like a student with college textbooks, bibles for us are the textbook of our faith. We feel the Bible is our Basic Instructional Book for Living Everyday.
With the Bible’s vast importance, we understand the desire to know “is Bible journaling disrespectful.” Of course, we all want to be respectful toward the book itself. Still, as believers, we feel God is more interested in people taking scripture to heart and treating the Bible as a life manual rather than sitting under glass in pristine condition as in a museum.
We journal to highlight what really speaks to us in scripture, especially in moments where a particular verse “speaks” to our present situation.
For instance, if we are struggling to make ends meet financially, we may read the scripture that states, “God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19)
Afterward, we highlight the scripture so it can be easily found later when rereading it as a reminder. It also helps us memorize it, so we may speak it as a powerful affirmation for reassurance.
If you are someone who enjoys powerful affirmations, see 45 Positive Affirmations for Women to Recite Daily in 2022.
So, Is Bible journaling disrespectful? When is absolute disrespect shown towards the Bible? We will explore both in this article.
Is Bible Journaling Disrespectful?
So, is Bible journaling disrespectful? No! On the contrary, it shows tremendous honor, respect, and personal accountability toward God's word. Furthermore, it is a way of “hiding His word in our hearts” so we can meditate on it throughout our day.
Those who believe it is disrespectful to journal in a Bible believe it is the equivalent of “vandalizing” God’s word. However, no harm is done as long as the markings made in the Bible aren't scribbling out scripture text and adding our own words (like someone vandalizing a stop sign).
Journaling, highlighting, and even dog-earing the pages of the Bible save our place so we can pick up where we left off when studying it.
Journaling (whether in our Bible or on paper) helps prevent us from drowning in our own fearful thoughts. See 29 Simple Journaling Prompts for Anxiety.
Bible journaling also shows we are students of God’s word who “study so that we know how to live with God’s approval.” Suppose the Bible is your manual for life. In that case, you also want to have it handy for answers when you get into challenging situations.
When putting together a problematic and time-consuming piece of furniture, a manual is handy to help us when we get to a part of the building process we don’t understand. The manual also gives us needed instructions to put the furniture together the way the manufacturer orchestrated it to come together.
Similarly, in life, God is our orchestrator. The Bible is our manual for living life and gives us what we need to get past the parts of life we don't understand and need guidance. In short, our faith, based on scripture makes us happier people. See, Happiness and Religion – Getting the Benefits outside the Cathedral.
Bible journaling and taking notes help us lay hold of the promises of God found in scripture. Here is a story that will encourage you.
A husband and wife had been trying to have children for over ten years; they found a scripture about it, highlighted it, and read it every day. It says, “God’s grace provides for the barren ones a joyful home with children so that even childless couples find a family. He makes them happy parents surrounded by their pride and joy. That’s the God we praise, so give it all to him!” (Psalm 113:9)
After reading it, as a sign of faith, the couple wrote the son's name they were believing for under this scripture in their Bible. A year later, they had that son. So again, scripture journaling was used as their lifeline to reinforce their faith and continue believing God's word during a difficult season.
When is Absolute Disrespect Shown Towards the Bible?
Absolute disrespect is shown toward the Bible when we fail to read it. But, in addition, disrespect is shown toward the Bible when we simply look at it as a piece of literature and do not honor what it says.
It’s like purchasing a box of cake mix and not following the recipe but expecting the results the box shows. But, unfortunately, we must follow the recipe to get the desired results.
Owning a Bible is great. So is owning an 80″ flatscreen TV. But, in the box, never opened, both are of little to no benefit to its owner. We can see all the features listed on the product, but we won't enjoy the benefit of having them until we open them up. Taking God out of the Box is a great resource to read to further explain this concept.
Similarly, when we open up our Bibles and hearts to the scriptures, we show the utmost respect for what's written on its pages.
Final Thoughts: Is Bible Journaling Disrespectful?
Many find highlighting and journaling in the Bible helpful. It is an excellent tool for learning and preserving knowledge from the scriptures.
If you disagree with this point of view or feel uncomfortable marking in your Bible, by all means, stand by your convictions. Take notes on a separate piece of paper.
However, it's essential to remember that the true disrespect comes when we have the knowledge at our fingertips and don't read it. Or if we read it and don't apply it. Life is more fulfilling when we read and place our trust in God's word.
Just as the Bible is our most helpful resource in life, other resources, like this article, are available to help us navigate life in strength and positivity. They also help us simply be better Christians and better humans. For example, check out 45 Positive Affirmations for Anxiety and Stress Reduction.
Finally, if you want to increase your happiness and life satisfaction, then watch this free video that details the 7-minute habit for planning your day to focus on what's important.