I’ve been on a quest lately to learn how to *correctly* play golf. One of the guys in our church, Brendan Gielow, is a professional golfer and he has taken on the challenge of fixing what I’ve been doing wrong my entire life on the golf course.

He was trying to teach me how to “read a green” the other day. For those that aren’t into golf, this is when the golfers get down on one knee and stare at the green, calculating how much the putt will move left or right and how hard they need to hit it. 

I missed a putt (badly) while he was working with me. Brendan said to me, “Why did you think that was going left?” I said, “Because I looked right at the hole and it looked like it was breaking left.” 

He backed me up and said, “Read the whole green. Look at the way it starts high on the left side and ends low on the right. When you are putting, you have to look at the whole green.”

This was a great tip for my golf game, but I was thinking about this idea in relation to Bible reading. So many times, we just crack open the Bible and read what is directly in front of us. We don’t take into context the fact that these are real stories, from real people that lived in the real world.

Here’s a tip for your Bible reading: read the whole story. If you decide that you want to read about the book of James, do a few things:

– Start at the beginning of the book. 
– Research who wrote the book. 
– Ask yourself, “who was this written to and why?” 
– And then read from left to right through the entire book. 

The Bible is not just intended for quotes and bite sized truths. It’s an all encompassing story that is intricately intertwined through it’s entirety.

Don’t just focus on the hole, read the whole green. That tip will help you grow in your relationship with Jesus and quite possibly even lower my golf score.

Here’s some great study tools that will help on your journey:

Life Application Study Bible
Fire Bible (for teens and students)
How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth (Gordon Fee)