Reading the Bible is what makes us successful in our fight against the devil’s schemes. When we memorize and recite (read it out loud) Scripture, we proclaim God’s promises and truths. Reading the Bible is, quite literally, life-changing. The world would be a completely different place if Christians read the Bible and applied the Word of God to their thinking, actions, and beliefs.
And yet, despite the Bible’s life-altering, God-breathed, power-harnessing qualities, the book continues to collect dust on our shelves as we’ve moved on to “bigger and better things”.
I used to hardcore judge people who didn’t have time to read the Bible. In college, I had a full schedule; between classes, studying, social events, running errands, and working, I barely had any free time. Nevertheless, every morning, I rolled out of bed, sat on the floor, and opened up my Bible. I would spend an hour completely focused on God: journaling, highlighting Bible verses, praying out loud, and even coloring if I felt led. When I graduated college, I had even more time to spend with God, especially since I didn’t have a full-time job yet. People I knew would tell me how difficult it was to give God even five minutes of their day. Really? The One who gave you life isn’t worth five minutes of your time?
Now that I’m “adulting,” my life is literally planned out to the minute. I find it difficult to give God the time I used to when I had plenty of time to give. Often, I’m too tired, distracted, or burnt out to read the Bible.
I pray that God can remind us of the truth, that time with Him is more valuable than time anywhere else.
I’ve thought about the excuses I use when I decide not to read the Bible. Here are the reasons that I’ve actually said (or heard people say) about reading the Bible. If it is difficult for you to keep a quiet time, I encourage you to take one step toward making a consistent time with God a priority:
- I get bored: Thanks for your honesty! God knows your heart, and He would rather have you spend time with Him being genuine than being complacent. If the idea of reading the Bible bores you, start off praying that God would renew your love for His Word. I also learned in college that there are different ways to study the Bible. You can do a full-on inductive Bible study where you study a whole chapter or book of the Bible, or you could meditate on a short passage of Scripture in prayer. Start small for now, but the important thing to do is to be consistent. Lately, it has been so freeing for me to know that God does not expect me to spend my whole day reading the Bible. As long as I have intentional, consistent prayer time with Him, my faith grows.
- I don’t understand it: The Bible is a complex book, that’s for sure! It has been translated into hundreds of languages around the world, and there are multiple commentaries written on each book of the Bible. The best way to understand the Bible is in community. Let your small group or your church help you. Even if you read a commentary or do a Bible study on a topic, check your facts with a small group. There are a lot of different interpretations of the Bible out there, and not all of them are accurate! Connecting with others can hold you accountable and help you keep your theology in check.
- I do a lot of driving: The struggle is real when it comes to sitting in traffic! But here are some tips for you if this is your excuse. First of all, audio Bibles are $30 online. If your car has a CD player, pop a CD of Genesis into the player and listen to the Bible on your morning commute to work. Some apps on your phone can also play an audio recording of the Bible. If you get distracted by road raging drivers, make a commitment to listen to worship music on your commute instead. Worship songs are based on Scripture, so singing along is like memorizing Scripture. I’ve also found that uplifting worship music keeps my road rage at bay 🙂
- I have too much to do: Let me reiterate this, not to condemn you, but to make you realize the severity: Without God’s love and mercy, you wouldn’t have life. God is in control; He gives and He takes away. The least you could do is thank Him for what you have by giving Him a few minutes of your day. Even if you are involved in ministry, nothing is more important than making that time with God a priority. If it really is a struggle to make time for God, maybe you should reevaluate your schedule and see what you need to take a break from doing. As I said, even if you’re doing a good thing, no thing should come before God.