We’ve heard it a thousand times. Over and over again we’ve been told to read our Bibles. But sadly, many believers neglect this area of their Christian walk. And I’m sure, if pressed, each of us could come up with a good excuse as to why we don’t spend a few minutes each day reading Scripture.
Although there are many different reasons for neglecting our Bible, here are some typical excuses given by Christians: (1) they’re too lazy; (2) they don’t have enough time; (3) weekly church attendance is enough; or (4) the Bible is too hard to understand.
While the above excuses are very common and very real, they’re just that — excuses. And, regardless of what excuse we use or even how good we believe our excuse is, it’s not a free pass to skip spending time in God’s word. Listen to what the apostle Paul says about the Bible:
“The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 TLB).
So, let’s be honest and talk about some of these excuses. Most of us can probably admit to spending a couple hours a day watching a movie, checking out Facebook, or reading some celebrity story on the internet. And we enjoy doing these things. But we don’t necessarily enjoy spending time in Scripture. Mostly it’s because some of us view Bible reading as a chore. And if we start out with that kind of attitude, then it’s no wonder we don’t get much Bible reading done.
Instead of viewing Bible reading as a chore, why not find a topic you’re interested in and read about it in Scripture. There are so many to choose from. Are you interested in war? Read Deuteronomy or 1st and 2nd Samuel. Are you interested in business, raising children, or politics? Read Proverbs. Or maybe you’re interested in the beginning of all time or the end of the world. If so, the book of Genesis and/or Revelation is for you.
And as for finding time? Forget about shooting for an hour or so of daily reading. Why not set aside five minutes? And make those five minutes a daily priority. By getting into the habit of purposely reading your Bible, you’ll find that you actually do have time each day to spend in God’s word. You just have to commit to doing it.
Another common excuse we have for not reading our Bible is church attendance. We listen to a sermon and believe our needs have been met for the upcoming week. However, having that kind of mindset is a mistake.
Just like we need daily physical food for our survival, we also need daily spiritual food (John 6:30-59). And Scripture is spiritual food for the Christian, plain and simple.
However, the poorest excuse for neglecting the Bible is claiming not to understand what Scripture says. But this excuse just doesn’t work because there are so many different versions of the Bible available today. In fact, most people can easily find a Bible translation they can understand.
For example, Matthew 27:46 records Jesus as saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” in the New International Version. But in the Hippie Bible version, the verse translates as, “Daddy, Daddy, why have you bailed on me.” More unusual Bible translations include The Holy Bible: Hip Hop Version, Da Jesus Book: Hawaiian Pidgin New Testament, The Aussie Bible, and The Street Bible, to name a few.
In other words, there’s a Bible available that suits just about everyone — from very traditional to a modern slang version.
Make a point this week to get into the daily habit of reading your Bible. Find a topic you’re interested in and read about it in Scripture. Shoot for five minutes each day and make those five minutes a priority. Each time you physically eat, remind yourself that you also need to feed yourself spiritually to maintain a healthy spiritual life. But most of all, get yourself a Bible you can understand.
And then read it, because there’s no excuse not to.
Donna Hughey of Crescent City is an award winning Christian author and columnist. Her column “Everyday Believer” can be found every Saturday in the Del Norte Triplicate.