Years ago a lady in the church that I attended invited me to a women’s Bible study. I had heard such great things about the study that I could not wait to start. From the beginning, however, I found that it really was not for me. The group was very strict. In fact, they held to an “if you didn’t do the homework, don’t bother coming” policy. Once you were there with homework in hand, they called on people randomly to produce the correct answer. I would agonize over the answers to the study and get my husband to help me. I didn’t ever want to have to answer a question unless I knew my answer was right. This was a class on the book of Romans, and no matter how hard I studied, I just wasn’t that confident about those answers. To make matters worse, it was an interdenominational study and the way-off-doctrinal answers bothered me as well.
I really don’t like to quit things that I’ve committed to. My parents always encouraged me to stay with something during the hard times because it usually gets better or easier—a principle that through the years has helped me very much in my life. So even though I absolutely did not enjoy this Bible study, I kept telling myself that I had to make it until Christmas, and that if I still felt the same, then I’d allow myself to quit. I was never so happy to reach Christmas because I did not want to go back!
Soon after the holidays, I encountered the lady at church who invited me, and she asked if I planned to attend the Bible study the next semester. I told her that I wasn’t. She started in a very friendly manner to strongly encourage me to go back.
I said, “No, you don’t understand. I hated going to the study. I’ve been making myself go for weeks. Every week I dreaded it. I would spend hours on those questions, and still I would be very nervous about having them call on me during the class time. I’ve really just haaaaated it. I made it till Christmas, but I don’t ever want to go back!” Finally, I took a breath.
The poor lady looked at me with eyebrows raised and said something like, “Oh well, ok, then.”
My mom happened to be with me and was standing just a couple of feet away. When I rejoined her, she said quietly but very pointedly, “Why don’t you tell her how you really feel?”