The Myth of "Going Deeper"

I think there's a myth out there in the church at large, and it's in our church too. It's what I'm calling the myth of going deeper. I say it's a myth because what most people seem to mean when they say they want to go deeper is really that they want to go into greater detail in Bible study. (Sometimes people mean deeper in relationships or accountability or vulnerability, but that's not what I'm writing about in this post.)

There's nothing wrong with wanting greater detail or going after it. Most of my education in theology and the Bible, the farther I got into into it at the college, graduate and doctoral levels, focused on going into greater and greater detail. Those details add up to greater knowledge that's helpful in many ways but unnecessary for most of what I do ministry and almost entirely useless for living the Christian life. I love education and I really get into learning. I'm a collector of information by nature. But over time I learned it's limitations. Paul said it well, "...knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church" (1 Corinthians 8:1).

So you want to go deeper? I do! But when I think of going deeper, I think of Christ more deeply penetrating every arena of my everyday life: personal, home, small group, church, vocation, society and the world. If a person is spending reflective time with God in personal prayer and Bible intake, loving their family with time and action, developing vital and caring relationships in their small group, using their gifts in the church, doing their job with excellence as unto God, personally and concretely caring for the needy and pursuing justice in the world, and personally and corporately sharing their faith...and still has time to go into greater detail in Bible study, I'm all for it. But if the price of going into greater detail is neglecting prayer or compassion or vital relationships with believers or investing in lives that need Christ, deeper is the last word I'd use to describe it.