Thursday, September 18, 2014
Serving God in a box: Bible reading
2) Bible reading. Another "box" we have, is Bible reading. A lot of us grow up having certain ideas about Bible reading taught to us.
You must read the Bible daily (there's even a song about that...)
You must read a certain amount of chapters a day
You must only use the ____ version
You must read it in the morning. Or evening.
You must read through your Bible, the whole way through, at least once every few years.
At the risk of sounding like a rebel or heretic, I got rid of the Bible reading box. Long ago.
I read multiple versions, and rarely the King James Version I was raised on. (Horrors!)
Most days, I read a few verses, not chapters. Some days, I will read a whole chapter.
I usually read it in the evening, unless the one verse that is in my morning devotional counts.
There are those who consider it heresy to read anything but the King James version of the Bible. I go to church with at least a few people like that, but I find that unreasonable. This post is not a treatise against the King James, but I will give a few reasons why I rarely use it for my personal Bible reading:
1) I get bogged down with the language and words we don't use anymore. Lovest? Thou? We don't talk that way anymore.
2) When I read familiar passages of Scripture in the KJV, I tend to zip over it, as it is pretty much memorized. When I read those passages in other versions, I have to concentrate more on what I am reading.
3) Variety. Plain and simple. It is nice to mix it up a bit.
I have tried to read a certain amount of verses or chapters in a day, but it was pretty much a check list type of thing. I did it, didn't get much out of it, but it was done.
The older I get, the more I get to truly know God, the more convinced I am that it is better to read a few verses and truly get something out of it, than to read several chapters and just get the good feeling of having done it. If you can do both - read a lot and get a lot of it, more power to you, but I can't.
As for reading through the Bible.... I did once, and it was to get a trophy. Don't judge. I never got trophies in school, so it was nice to get one for something. But if we are honest, not all part of the Bible are interesting to read, or helpful. OK, OK, I'll get out my heretic t-shirt.
But seriously... who enjoys reading Leviticus, or the genealogies. I get it that there is something we can get out of all passages of the Bible, but I tend to read the more interesting and encouraging parts of the Bible. Does that make me a bad Christian? I don't think so,,,, and certainly not a heretic.
That isn't to say we should never read Leviticus. It is to say that we shouldn't feel bound to read the Bible through or read it like others do. Its God's Word. He can speak to us from any of it.
I don't mean to criticize those who read through the Bible several times in their life or read several chapters a day. Just don't tell me I have to read my Bible in a box. Some of them came in a box, but I tossed the boxes out and won't read them in a box anymore.