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5 Signs You're More Concerned with the Study of God Than the Heart of God

Vivian Bricker

Contributing Writer
Published: Apr 29, 2022
5 Signs You're More Concerned with the Study of God Than the Heart of God

When you are reading the Word of God, it is easy to slip into the pattern of being more concerned with the study of God rather than the heart of God. I know I fell into this trap during a short time in my college years. It is okay if you have slipped into this pattern, but it’s important to get out of this pattern as soon as you are aware of it. If you are not sure if you’re more concerned with the study of God than the heart of God, here are five ways to check: 

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1. You’re More Concerned About Appearing “Religious”

The first sign that you’re more concerned with the study of God than the heart of God is if you’re trying to appear more religious than others. When you’re focused on the heart of God, you don’t care if you look “religious enough.” Instead, you are concerned with focusing on God and trying to learn more about Him. In other words, you are focusing on knowing God and following Him more than knowing the facts of the Bible. Knowing the facts of the Bible is important, but you have to apply the teachings of the Bible in your life too. Reading the Bible cannot only be focused on the study of the mind and neglecting to seek out the heart of God.

2. You’re More Concerned with Preparing Material 

A second sign you’re more concerned with the study of God than the heart of God is if you’re more concerned with preparing material for your sermon, Bible study, or lesson rather than cultivating an atmosphere for the heart of God. Preachers, Bible teachers, and Bible group leaders can easily fall into the pattern of only reading the Bible to search out passages and verses for their sermon, Bible study, or Bible lesson. 

It is not good to only read the Bible to obtain material for what you are working on. While it is important to prepare materials for sermons, Bible studies, or Bible lessons, we need to focus on the heart of God. We will not experience life-changing help from the Bible if we ignore the heart of God and instead follow after our own underlying motives. When we teach others in sermons, studies, and lessons, we need to help them seek out the heart of God, but we cannot do that unless we are actually focusing on the heart of God ourselves. 

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man studying Bible

3. You’re More Concerned with Justifying Your Own Opinions Rather Than the Word of God

A third sign you’re more concerned with the study of God than the heart of God is if you’re more concerned with justifying your own opinions rather than the Word of God. Justifying your own opinions occurs when you’re so focused on trying to justify sin or opinions in your life by misusing the Scriptures. When we manipulate the Bible to justify our own sins or opinions, we are more concerned with the study of God for our own ulterior motives. 

It is very dangerous to distort and twist the Bible to get it to say what we want it to say. By behaving in this manner, we are not truly after the heart of God. Only studying the Bible without seeking out the heart of God can lead to us misusing the Bible to justify our own opinions on various topics as many have done through politics. It is never right to misuse the Bible to justify your own opinions. When you truly read the Bible because you love God, you would never try to justify your own opinions through distortion of the Word. Instead, through the love you have for God, you would yield to the Holy Spirit’s convictions and repent of any sins you have committed rather than misusing the Bible to justify your sins. 

4. You’re Not Seeing Spiritual Growth

A fourth sign you’re more concerned with the study of God than the heart of God is if you’re not seeing spiritual growth in your life. This is one of the best ways to tell if your reading and studying of the Bible is more focused on knowing the head-knowledge of God rather than His heart. Spiritual growth can be shown by displaying the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). 

It can also be seen in the way we treat others and the way we treat ourselves. A Christian with great spiritual growth would be dedicated to learning more about the heart of God and His guidance in the Word. Lack of spiritual growth can be measured by being stagnant in the faith and not bearing spiritual fruits. If you’re not seeing spiritual growth in your life, it could be related to being more concerned with the study of God than the heart of God.

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5. You're Truly Not Getting to Know God

A fifth sign you’re more concerned with the study of God than the heart of God is if you’re not truly getting to know God. If you’re only focused on studying the person of God, you are going to neglect His heart. By focusing only on the study of God, you will not truly get to know Him. Studying the person of God is good to do, but we cannot neglect the heart of God. We cannot get to know a person unless we are concerned with their heart. Just as we get to know somebody by talking with them and spending time with them, we have to get to know God by talking with Him in prayer and spending time with Him by reading His Word. 

If our relationship with God is strictly focused on head-knowledge, we will never be radically changed by the love of God. Knowing God is not the same as knowing about God. In our daily life, we can know facts about a person, such as their eye color, their height, or their age, but we cannot know a person truly until we know their heart. The same goes with God as our relationship cannot be strictly only related to knowing about God rather than knowing God. If you have found that you’re not truly getting to know God in your Christian walk, you may be more concerned with the study of God than His heart.

Remedy

If any of these signs relate to you, it’s okay. Take a deep breath and decide to change today. A Christian walk only focused on the study of God rather than seeking out His heart will not be a fulfilling life. As Christians, we love God, and therefore, we should try to strive after God’s heart and fully dedicate ourselves to learning more about Him and truly getting to know Him. God can help you grow to become concerned with His heart and to know Him better rather than just having book knowledge about Him. The Lord wants to help us, but we have to ask. 

You can grow in your Christian walk by loving God, following His Word, and applying His teachings in your daily life. It is good to know about the person of God, yet you cannot neglect the heart of God. Nobody can truly know another person unless they are concerned with the other person’s heart, and the same goes for the heart of God.


Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

Originally published Friday, 29 April 2022.

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