Last week, for Senior Youth Small Groups, I took on the opportunity to teach the grade 10 girls about the importance of keeping a journal. Throughout the course of my research into the topic, I came across quite a few reasons why it’s important – I’ll paraphrase my favorites here, and you can find my sources at the bottom of the post!
- Journaling is Biblical – We know that the Bible is God’s Word, written down by people. In a way, the Bible itself is a journal, with divine inspiration. The concept of journaling is explicitly mentioned in Habakkuk 2:2 – “And then God answered: ‘Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.’” If God is speaking to your heart, you should be writing it down – this plays into some of the reasons for journaling that you’ll find further down on the list. Even if you’re not sure it’s God speaking to you, writing down whatever you’re feeling will help you to better be able to reflect and understand it later on.
- It’s a way of making the unseen seen – a running log helps you to be able to see growth and progress. By keeping a list in your journal, and filling in more information as it’s available to you, will help you to see how God has answered your prayers, whether the answer was yes, no, or maybe later. Taking time at the end of the year to go back and review your journal holds the potential to see God working in your life.
- It enhances your understanding of scripture – meditating on God’s Word is much more effective than just glancing at it (for most people, at least), and copying out part of the scriptures is a form of meditating on it. Whether you’re copying it out as a prayer or a reminder, or because it’s part of your scripture memory goal for the year, it’s still helping you to gain a better understanding of God’s Word, and helping you apply it to your life. On the non-spiritual side, this can be an opportunity to turn a page (or a few pages) in your journal into art pages for practicing fancy writing or doodles related to what you’re reading in the Bible.
While keeping a journal can be a great boost to your spiritual life, it can also drag you down. We need to be careful of this, and ensure that we’re not journaling for the wrong reasons. Ivan Mesa shares D.A. Carson’s warnings that we are not to look down at those who do not practice keeping a journal, think of ourselves as better than those who do not keep a journal, or believe that it is the act of journaling that is the channel of divine truth. If we find ourselves slipping down this path, it’s probably for the best to throw our journals out.
If you’ve looked at Pinterest at all in the past few years, you’ve probably heard of the Bullet Journal. This is the concept that I introduced to the girls last Thursday. I love the concept of Bullet Journaling because of its infinite customizability (is that a word?). I’ve been bullet journaling on and off for a while now, but I’ve only just started to compile all my lists and collections into one notebook. I chose to introduce the Bullet Journal method because it suits everyone – if you like to draw, then you can draw. You’d rather write? Then write! Your journal becomes your own – it’s a planner, a to-do list, a diary, and an art project, all in one notebook. See the list at the bottom of the post for some of my favorite Bullet Journal resources and inspirations.
|jesus||As a part of the lesson I taught, I challenged the girls to bring their journals to youth and to church, and write about what they’re learning during our sermons and Bible studies. Whether you’re in my small group or not, I invite you to accept this challenge, and see what secrets you might unlock by keeping a journal.||jesus<3u|
Biblical Journaling Resources
Bullet Journal Resources