So okay, I admit it, I am absolutely fascinated with the pictures of beautifully decorated Bible pages that are floating around on the internet. If you’re like me you can’t wait to illustrate your faith but feel unworthy to even attempt to create the art that is currently the craze.
My Pinterest account has a couple of hundred pins with pictures that I just think are totally amazing… and I may have spent a couple of hours on YouTube watching videos with people flipping through their Bibles and telling me how it’s done.
Now when I first started seeing those pictures I have to admit was completely intimidated. I thought there was no way that I could do that. I can’t draw!
Art was not one of my gifts. My husband still teases me about the cow that I drew for our son … more than six years ago. He’s one of those persons gifted with creative and artistic ability, so to him, a cow looks like something you can milk and not like two lopsided balloons with spots…
But over time (and lots of YouTube videos and Pinterest saves), I realized a few things about Bible journaling that I’m going to share with you: let’s call them the lies that prevent you from trying to illustrate your faith. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you the truth as well so you’ll have something to counteract the lie.
Lie # 1: If you can’t draw or are not artistic, you can’t illustrate your faith.
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Truth: Bible art or illustrating your faith is not about the pictures. It’s about time spent in worship – reading, studying and seeking to understand God’s word. There’s something about expressing His word as art that makes it come alive for you.
Lie # 2: If you don’t have special pens, pencils, etc. you can’t Bible journal
Truth: You don’t need a bunch of special pens and art supplies to illustrate your faith. Okay, so I live in Jamaica and it’s a beautiful, wonderful place but – I can’t just walk into a store and ask for Prisma pencils or Tombow pens.
Well, I could, but the salespeople would look at me like I was crazy. What I can get are some Crayola or Sargent Arts pencils and regular ballpoint pens.
So, hmmm, does a lack of the “right supplies” hamper my faith illustration?
Yes and no.
Yes, it would be lovely to have all those Bible-adapted supplies.
But no, it doesn’t stop me from spending time with God and illustrating what He reveals to me.
Lie # 3: If you don’t have a journaling Bible you can’t create Bible art
Truth: A journaling Bible is not a requirement. While having a Bible with special margins for notes is an awesome thing, it doesn’t stop you from writing about what you read. I found that I actually go more Bible journaling in my “regular” Bible as it forces me to get more creative.
I want to break down Bible journaling to its simplest form – journaling is simply writing down what you observe, think or feel. Bible journaling is writing a personal account based on what you read in God’s word.
So my advice would be this: start with what you have.
Maybe you want to find ways to creatively make notes in the minuscule margins of your current Bible. Or maybe you choose to journal in a notebook or on loose paper. This brings me to my next point:
Lie # 4: If you don’t draw beautiful pictures, you’re not Bible journaling
Truth: You might be surprised to find that you’re already a ‘Bible journaler’.
- Do you make notes about what you read?
- Do you scribble in the margins?
- Do you highlight key text?
- Do you underline words and phrases that stand out for you?
- Do you write sermon notes?
- Do you have a notebook that you use to document what God reveals to you as you read His Word?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions … ding, ding, ding! You’re illustrating your faith!
Not convinced? Let me remind you of my first point: Bible art or illustrating your faith is not about the pictures. I just came to that conclusion a short while ago so I’ll give you a little time to work it out in your head.
After I really thought about Bible journaling in its purest form, I realized I had been doing it on and off for years but I really got serious about it a year and a half ago.
Seriously, do not fall into the trap of thinking that if your Bible pages don’t look like something that should be in an art museum that you’re not illustrating your faith.
Today I’m going to issue two challenges:
1. Stop looking at Bible art pictures on the internet. Doing that can make you so scared that you never start and you could miss out on something which could totally change the way you view Bible study.
2. Do something today to illustrate your faith. God is not an art teacher. He’s not going to judge you if you color outside the lines or if your cow looks something like a bloated balloon.
God has a lot of things He desires to tell us and most times we miss out on the message because we rush through our devotions and when we do get insight we do not write them down.
I’m going to try to take my own advice, I’ve minimised the time spent scrolling through images of other people illustrating their faith. I’m instead spending time with God, reading and seeking to understand His Word so I can illustrate my faith.
Have fun illustrating your faith! Feel free to tell me about your attempts in the comments below.