In Jerry Bridges' beloved little book, The Pursuit of Holiness (Kindle), he describes in his chapter on the place of personal discipline three questions to ask as you read, study, or meditate on the Scriptures and then explains why being specific is so important.
- What does this passage teach concerning God's will for a holy life?
- How does my life measure up to that Scripture; specifically where and how do I fall short? (Be specific; don't generalize.)
- What definite steps of action do I need to take to obey?
The most important part of this process is the specific application of the Scripture to specific life situations. We are prone to vagueness at this point because commitment to specific actions makes us uncomfortable. But we must avoid general commitments to obedience and instead aim for specific obedience in specific instances. We deceive our souls when we grown in knowledge of the truth without specifically responding to it (James 1:22).
The Pursuit of Holiness (1978) by Jerry Bridges, pg 104. Bold is mine.