Tuesday, June 28, 2022

IBS-49 Find the Application: Learn from Bad Examples -2

Big Idea: We can learn from bad examples in the Bible.

We Can Learn from Bad Examples

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt

There are a lot of stories throughout the Bible. One would think a body of religious works would showcase the good examples; the way to live right. But one reason I believe the Bible is an authentic, true book and not fabricated fairy tales is because everyone is not a hero or a goody-two-shoes. Many people make mistakes and some of them are make them over and over again! And yet remarkably, God loves these people and wants their friendship and wants to bless and use them.

A favorite Bible study series that I have taught multiple times is “Bad Girls of the Bible,” and “Really Bad Girls of the Bible,” by Liz Curtis Higgs. Each class is always popular. It is interesting to see people mess up, and what God does about it. The author points out that anyone can find something in common with these bad girls: A controlling spirit, jealousy, brokenness over disease... We relate to these characters because we sometimes have messed up lives too.

So as we look for applications in the Bible, look carefully at the bad examples. Do a character study exploring why they did what they did and how they got that way. 

How Bad Examples Teach Us

1. Learn from the mistakes of others. (Ananias and Saphira) Acts 5:1-10

2. Understand that in spite of our mistakes, when we turn to God He will bless those who follow Him. (Moses the murderer, King David the murderer)

3. No matter how bad you have been, you can still come to God for a fresh start. (Paul the murderer)1 Timothy 1:15-16

4. Bad examples show us the consequences of stubborn rebellion. 2 Peter 2:6

5. Even ungodly characters can teach us life illustrations. (The bad judge) Luke 18:1-7

Every story and lesson in the Bible has a purpose. It is there for our understanding of God and personal growth as a Christian. 

 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

This post is forty-ninth in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: Learn from Good Examples-3
Previous post: Find the Application: Live the Good Examples -1


1. If you wrote the Bible for people to know God would you have put all those bad examples in there?

2. Do you have a special bad boy or bad girl of the Bible that intrigues you? Why do you find them interesting? What do you learn from them?

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