From a very young age, my parents instilled in me the importance of daily Bible reading. Like flossing, it was one of those things that I only stuck with for about 2 days at a time. Sometimes I got really spiritual, like on New Year's Day when I would resolve to read the entire Bible in one year. No one else does that, right? ;)
The single greatest reason I struggled in the discipline of Bible reading was because I found it utterly boring. If I tried to read the Word, I'd get stumped on the genealogies or the Levitical laws or the confusing imagery in Revelation. Sure, there are some pretty awesome miracles, scandal, sexual indiscretion, and lots of murder. Yet, I still found it lifeless.
It has only been in adulthood that the words have begun to fly off the page. Now, I can say that I have actually read entire books of the Bible! I have yet to read it cover to cover, but I'm getting there.
So, what changed?
I discovered that the problem wasn't the Bible. The problem was me.
I wish I could say God implanted a microchip in my brain whereby I could make all kinds of obscure connections, a robotic concordance of sorts. Or, that I suddenly had the wisdom of Solomon. Or, even that I found THE best version of the Bible, with a customizable cover.
But, what really happened is that I started growing my mind.
I began to study spiritual things, mostly through reading, but also through dialog with friends.
Previously, I assumed that I could come to the text and gain enormous spiritual insight via osmosis. And, while I do believe wholeheartedly that spiritual wisdom is authored by God, I also believe that He expects us to put in some effort ourselves.
I wasn't completely aware of how this change came about, until a dear friend recommended that I read the book "Love Your God With All Your Mind: The Role of Reason in the Life of the Soul" by J.P. Moreland. The author shares that:
"A life of study can give us a constant source of new categories and beliefs that will lead to fresh new insights and stave off intellectual boredom. Many people become bored with the Bible precisely because their overall intellectual growth is stagnant. They cannot gain new insights from Scripture because they bring the same old categories to Bible study and look to validate their old habits of thought." (p. 80).
As you read that quote right there, do your eyes glaze over? Does the idea of studying bring back memories of SAT's and pulling all nighters? Guess what?! It doesn't have to be that way! There are all kinds of ways to grow your mind as an effort to grow your faith.
Come back next week, when I'll share some of the methods I employ to make studying more doable and even exciting.
Have you ever found the Bible boring?
Most days Keri can be found cruising in her Swagger Wagon, reading a good book, or laughing with friends over large cups of coffee. She finds great fulfillment in serving those who might not walk through the doors of a church, but still desperately need the Hope that only God can give. She also enjoys learning about God through unorthodox means, and occasionally blogs about it at Pop Parables. She also gets in touch with her creative side at BringingCraftyBack. Keri lives in the Greater Seattle area with her husband, their three boys, and 2 weiner pups.
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