Newbie Looking For Advice And Guidance

Hi everyone,

My name is Anna and I want to learn more about Christianity. I have a NIV copy of the bible and don't really know where to start. I've read the book of James and would like to read it again before progressing, but I don't know what to read next. What's best for a beginner?

Also, I have a pretty heavy question, and I ask it with sincerity, but what do Christians do when people treat them badly? A brief outline: someone very close to me has hurt myself and others greatly. This person has a good heart but is a drug user and this affects their mental health and they have made some bad decisions which had huge consequences. If this person were to come to me tomorrow and say they're sorry and were clean of drugs, I would accept them back into my life but there would always be a fear of history repeating itself. How do you truly forgive someone for hurting you so badly?

I'm sorry if this is the wrong area to post this - please let me know if there's a better place.

Hello and welcome to the forum. As a 'baby' Christian, I always recommend this formula for reading the Bible:

The Gospels first: John, Mark, Matthew and Luke.

Followed by Acts.

Re-read these several times. Then move onto the "Pauline Epistles" which make up most of the rest of the New Testament.

Stay out of Revelation-for now-or at least give it a once over and let it digest for a while.

When reading the Old Testament understand there are different 'sections' of the Bible

The History of God's People
The "Law"
The Prophets and Judges

As a newbie-I would say read Genesis and Exodus in the Old Testament first. Read about King David and King Solomon in the books of Samuel 1 & 2, Kings 1 & 2.

Find inspiration in Psalms and Proverbs.

My current personal favorite books are: John, Esther, and Ecclesiastes.

The 'Prophets' like Isaiah and Daniel may have parts that are bit heavy for a newbie.

The heart of the Bible is Jesus Christ-the Gospel (which means 'Good News')

The best thing you can do to learn more about Jesus Christ is to find a genuine Bible believing Church and start listening to some good olde time preaching. There are still some good churches out there....
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As for forgiveness-it is a process we must learn and unfortunately very few ever truly master. That's why we look to the Cross. Give the problem over to God in prayer. As Christians we are commanded to forgive-and to love under any circumstances. I could name several circumstance that I am not sure how I cold love someone like Christ can. But Christ forgives all who truly seek Him and repent-that doesn't mean we will never sin again-we may even commit the same sin over and over again several times. It is the struggle against sin that teaches us and moves us closer to God.
Hi and welcome

Just on forgiveness...we are to forgive all who sin against us every second of the day, everyday until we die. God forgave us all our sins, dare we not forgive anyone for anything they do against us, whenever they do it.

The issue you have though is not forgiveness, rather casting pearl before swine. Don't do it. God gave us a brain, forgiveness is not absence of brains Matt 7:6 Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.


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John is almost always a great place to start reading the Bible. In John you learn about Jesus, and by learning about Jesus you are learning about God. Romans is also a good place to study as it is often used to spell out Salvation and a Christian life.