What keeps me from reading my Bible more? Fear. I am afraid that I will not understand what I read. I am afraid that I will get a couple of verses in and lose focus and be distracted. I am afraid that I am not smart enough to catch all of the theological messages and emphasis. I am afraid that I will be in a hurry and not truly consider what I am reading. I am afraid that I will find the passages irrelevant and meaningless to my life. I am afraid to venture too far from the Gospels.
What does all of this fear lead to? Guilt. What kind of Christian am I if I don’t read my Bible consistently? How can I call myself a teacher of the Word and an expert in spiritual formation if I have such limited experience with scripture? Guilt then adds to my fear and it starts a cycle all over again.
Don’t get me wrong, I read the Bible regularly but I haven’t ever grown to love the process and the scriptures the way that some do. But I am determined to change this in 2012. I want to discover the scriptures in a fresh way. God is found in his book and the best place for me to discover him and learn from him is within his word. I know this and I need to put my fear and guilt aside and embrace the wonderful treasure that is God’s word.
To help me along, I plan to read several recent books that have come along to address the need for thoughtful and spiritual reading of the Bible. The books include – The Fire of the Word by Chris Webb, The Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight, Eat this Book by Eugene Peterson, Scripture And The Authority of God by N.T. Wright.
I will post some of my discoveries and experiences on the blog. I invite you to join me in discovering the joy of Bible reading.