So, if you are one of those people who reads the Bible at least a couple times weekly, have you ever asked yourself why? There are many different reasons we take time to open God's Word, but you might be surprised by most of them, and maybe by your own.
Here are some of the reasons folks read the Bible:
1. The Superstitious Christian: This person reads the Bible simply because he is afraid not to. Somewhere, someone told him that God will stay off your back, and even bless you from time to time if you read the Bible often enough. He also has a rabbit's foot in his pocket, along with his lucky penny.
2. The Selfish Christian: She opens the Bible when she needs something, like an uplift, or an answer to a pressing problem. She thinks of the Bible as either a fountain of sentimental thoughts, or as The Big Life Answer Book. Of course she pays no attention to context and assumes everything can be directly applied to her life in the way that best suits her.
3. The Self-Righteous Christian: He truly believes that he's one of the best, exemplary Christians around and makes sure both to read his allotted chapters daily and let everyone know. Of course, his goal is just to get through the texts of the day and he's become adept at speed reading. He is a busy Christian and believes it is good stewardship to get through his daily Quiet Time as quickly as possible. When he checks off the boxes on his Daily Bible Reading chart he feels the pleasure of God.
4. The Sentinel Christian: She has been watching others in the church and is just sure that their behavior is improper. She flips through the Bible trying to find the place that says they're wrong, and often ends up emailing her pastor to ask "Where in the Bible does it say ...?" For her, the Bible is just a rule book that need only be referenced if you don't already know the rules.
5. The Social Christian: He holds a public position, perhaps as an elected official or other high-profile leader. It is just good politics to read the Bible. He uses it to find quotes that can be sprinkled throughout his speeches, and makes sure the cameras are rolling as he carries his Bible into church.
6. The Serious Christ-follower: He or she realizes that the Bible is God's Word, breathed out by him to the human writers who, superintended by the Holy Spirit, committed to writing the very words of God. Further, God has miraculously preserved this Word, and brought it down to us in our own languages so that we can know God's ways, hear his voice, and worship him in obedience. He or she realizes that the Bible was written for a purpose, to declare God's ways in history and show his unfolding plan of redemption through Jesus Christ.
These folks refuse to read across the Bible, as though taking core samples from many different chapters could bring out the meaning the authors intended. Rather, they read along the biblical story, understanding the writing first in its own day, and then relating the principles taught to their own day and their own lives.
Lastly, these folks believe the Bible is God's way of working in them to bring about spiritual maturity. Reading the Bible is like drinking deeply at God's own table, and is both enjoyable and essential to their wellbeing as a member of God's family.
So, the only thing left is to ask you: Why do you read the Bible?