This morning I sat down to read my Bible and…wait for it…I just didn’t feel like it.
Now half of you may be thinking, “Well, duh! I never feel like it!” And half of you may be gasping, “Well, you probably aren’t a real Christian. Are you sure you ‘prayed the prayer’? The RIGHT prayer?”
Jim Rayburn, who established Young Life, was famous for saying “It’s a sin to bore a kid with the gospel.” But what about the Bible? The whole Bible?
Remember back in High School when you had to read ___________(insert book title you dreaded, that was thick and long and had words you didn’t understand).
Why did you resist reading it (other than the big words)? Why did you think it was boring?
Maybe part of the problem was that you waited til the night before it was due and you tried to read the whole thing in one sitting and “get something out of it”.
Or maybe you were hoping for a love letter and instead it was a history book.
Maybe the biggest thing was that it didn’t seem relevant to your life.
Many people resist reading the Bible for the same reason. I think part of the problem is because we read it like a book.
“Huh”, you say?! It is a book! You read a book like a book!
Actually, I’m thinking it’s more like one of those GPS systems with the lady with the British accent. It’s interactive. You put in a destination (In this case “I want to go where You want me to go, Lord”) and you get some direction. You make a wrong turn and the lady says, “Recalculating. Go 100 yards and make a U-turn.”
The comparison isn’t perfect, but the key is that God’s word is living and it is His primary tool for furthering a relationship with us.
So, if you have a day or two (or 100) when you aren’t as excited about reading your Bible as you are about going to hear U2, here are six ways to avoid Bible Boredom and one bonus “secret”…
- Date it. Like the Israelites piled up stones to mark places of God’s faithfulness, dating our Bibles can be like a prayer journal.
- Put Yourself in It. Read Mark10:35-52. What do you see, hear, smell, feel? Who do you most relate to? Twice Jesus asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” Imagine Him turning to you and asking that. How would you answer?
- Pray it. Read the Bible in conversation with God, responding with praise, confession, intercession as you read.
- Question it. I came out of seminary with more questions than I went in with, but also with a bigger God. Don’t be afraid to question and wrestle with the parts that seem confusing, or unfair, or contradictory. Ask God for His mind.
- Do it. One of my favorite quotes from Ortberg is “Our goal shouldn’t be to get through the Bible, but to get the Bible through us.” And that means we’re changed by it. We do something it says today that we didn’t do yesterday.
- Come back to it. Again. And Again. A friend of mine has suggested the experiment of reading Isaiah 58 every day for 21 days. God’s word is living and active! There is so much there for the Holy Spirit to show us!
So this is where I was going to share one last “secret”, but this post is already too long and I don’t want to bore you writing too much about boredom. Check in on Friday and we’ll continue the conversation
Don’t be overwhelmed with the list above. Just choose one. Today.
That’s my shot at relevant Bible reading. What suggestions would you add?