Alright guys, I’m just going to be honest right now. I am really inconsistent at reading my Bible. It has been one of my biggest struggles for years. That’s hard to tell you guys, because I feel a bit like I just labeled myself as an ultra-lousy Christian. I mean, seriously… reading your Bible is like number one of what Christians are supposed to do.
So today I wanted to write this post… scratch that. Today I don’t really want to write this post, because it hits pretty close to home. But I’m determined to be transparent here, and I know that this has more potential to be encouraging than my just posting another song I like. 🙂
I’m going to list 10 things that happen when I don’t read my Bible. And when I say “read,” I don’t just mean flipping it open and reading a few verses or a chapter or two. That’s attainable. I mean truly reading it, letting it sink in, praying over what I’m reading, letting it change my life. That’s hard.
So here it goes…
1. I forget what God is like.
I mention this first because its the most important and the most destructive consequence of not reading my Bible. I’ve written about it before. And that’s because its becoming more and more obvious to me that this is a very common thing that happens to me if I don’t abide in the Word. I find that I often default to forgetting how loving, compassionate, merciful, forgiving, and wonderful God is. And that’s terrible! Christianity is founded on God and His character. If we forget what He’s like……. let’s just say that this reason is one of my biggest reasons to read my Bible consistently.
2. I get confusion over my spiritual state.
I say confusion intentionally. Sometimes that encompasses a vague sense of guilt, or a fear of not being a good enough Christian, or just some sort of feeling I can’t put my finger on. But reading my Bible just puts those things to rest, largely by reminding me what God is like—how good and awesome and forgiving He is.
3. My focus shifts from God to myself.
I don’t think this one needs a lot of explanation, do you? It is so, so, so easy to prioritize yourself over God. Especially when we’re not in the Word.
4. Worldly things seem more attractive than Jesus.
This one sounds horrible. Just to say that sometimes worldly things (and by that I mean anything other than Jesus) are more appealing than Jesus sounds like a horrible form of idolatry. And that’s because… it is! It’s putting other things before God and making them more important than Him. This is a sin that we are all guilty of. (Am I right?) And we can stop it only by drawing closer to Jesus and seeing Him in all His glory and beauty.
5. I am more susceptible to the lies of the enemy.
Have you ever experienced this? Maybe its a busy season, or there’s a trail, and Bible reading slips to the back burner. It’s like dropping off our sword as soon as we get to the battle. In fact, the sword of the Spirit is the description given of the Bible in Ephesians 6:17. And the enemy and all his demons are prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking whom they can devour. Someone who’s dropped their sword is a prime target. This is one huge reason to be consistent with Bible reading.
6. I sin more.
This one’s pretty simple. Less Bible = more sin. Enough said?
7. I have less love for others.
This one is closely linked to the one above, because less love is pretty much synonymous with more sin. But I wanted to give this one a special note… because I notice it pretty strongly in myself.
8. I feel distant from the Holy Spirit.
I know He’s always with me. I know I am eternally secure. I know that He doesn’t really become more distant with every day I forget to/don’t read my Bible. But sometimes it feels that way. Reading the Bible doesn’t bring back the still small voice… it just opens our ears to it again.
9. I have less joy.
Bible reading is not a magical formula for joy, but it certainly helps. Much of the joy that comes to me from spending time with God is that my weight is lifted and I feel the freedom to be joyful. Whatever weight we have, we can come to Jesus and His Words, like in Matthew 11:28-29, and lay it down. And this results in joy!
10. I don’t use spiritual gifts and talents to serve others and glorify God (as much).
I didn’t say that we’re less useful to God, and that was purposeful. God can use whomever He pleases. But when I’m not reading and meditating on my Bible, then I’m not focused on God, not caring to love others, and certainly not very concerned about using my talents and gifts to serve others and glorify God. For me, this is obvious with this lovely blog of mine. Remember when I didn’t post for like, weeks at a time? Well… one big reason is that I wasn’t being super faithful with my Bible reading.
There it is, the big long list. Take another look at all of these. Do you notice any of these in your own life when you stop reading your Bible? It just goes to show how important it is to stay in the Word.
And I just want to throw something out there, for anyone who feels like a lousy Christian because they aren’t consistent enough at being in the Word. First off, me too. I get it. It’s just hard sometimes. But second, there is absolutely no condemnation for us in Christ. He is not mad at us for missing a day—or a week—or however many days or weeks. That’s not to say we should slack off… obviously this is important… we should just remember that Jesus loves us, and He asks us to come to Him. We do it because we love Him and want to grow in our faith and fall in love with Him more. So don’t beat up on yourself if you’re as lousy at being consistent as I am.
With that said, I’m going to sign off until next Tuesday. Have a wonderful week!