There are many reasons not to read the Bible. Don’t let them keep you from reading it.
Rather, pray that God will help you overcome these bad reasons and give you a sincere desire to know and love Him through the pages of Scripture.
1. Don’t read the Bible to impress God
Trying to gain God’s approval by reading the Bible is as senseless as a baby drinking milk to impress her mama; babies eat because they’re hungry, not to show off. We read the Bible because it feeds us the words of God and fills our minds and hearts with Truth. God’s delights when His children eat their fill of the Word, much as a mother grin when her little one leans back with a full tummy and a contented sigh. There’s only one good reason to read the Bible. Don’t settle for anything less.
2. Don’t read the Bible to check it off a list
If you grew up in the church, you may be familiar with the children’s song that goes like this:
That’s great advice for children who are learning the fundamentals of the Christian faith. But if we’re not careful, that advice can also foster a mentality that reduces spirituality to a checklist of activities. Simply rushing through a passage won’t do you much good–it’s not a golden ticket into heaven. Instead learn to savor your time in Scripture, and open your heart to what God wants you to learn.
3. Don’t read the Bible out of guilt
A Christian heritage can also bring with it a heavy burden of guilt whenever we fail to do what’s right. So if we miss a day or two (or ten) on our Bible-reading plan, we glance at our Bible with remorse and reluctantly pick it up to make ourselves feel better. But there are other ways to walk with God even when reading the Bible isn’t an option. Yes, self-discipline is important, but guilt does no good unless it results in heart change (2 Corinthians 7:10). When you realize it’s been a while, don’t just rush to read it and be done; spend some time with the Word and in prayer, and ask God to show you where you need to change.
4. Don’t read the Bible to fight another Christian
Ever seen a religious argument where both sides used Bible passages to prove their points? It can get really ugly really fast, and they’re completely mishandling the Bible. The Sword is purposed not to cut down a brother or sister in Christ but to fight off the devil. Let’s stop wielding the Bible as a weapon against our own, and let’s instead sharpen to use it against temptation. Next time you want to look up a text to prove your point in a controversy, pause and consider if you wouldn’t be better off memorizing a verse to overcome a besetting sin in your life.
Sure, there are times when we don’t feel like reading the Bible. We should do it anyway. But not out of any of the reasons I listed above. Rather, we should read the Bible to know and love God more as He reveals Himself on each page of Scripture.
And when we do that, we won’t need a list of reasons to get into the Word. We’ll jump at the opportunity every chance we get.