I make excuses for not reading the Bible every day. And this is coming from a pastor. A formally-trained-in-biblical-theology pastor. A pastor who attributes his joy, happiness, and success in life to the Bible.
Still, most days (if I’m honest) I don’t wanna read it. My knee-jerk reaction is, “Nerp. Not interested. I got better things to do.” It’s crazy to see how quickly I can distract myself from reading the Bible. I spit out the same excuses every day! Most days I do not resonate with the psalmist who wrote, “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” Again, nerp.
Ultimately, I combat these excuses. I’ll share with you how. But, to start, here are the three most common excuses:
1) The Bible Is Too Difficult
Listen, someone’s been lyin’ to you if they say the Bible is easy. Even Peter, who walked with Jesus and wrote two books of the New Testament, confirmed its difficulty. Check this out (it’s hilarious): “There are some things in [Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand . . .” (2 Peter 3:16).
The difficulty is good
John Piper writes, “Troubling and bothering texts are good…it’s only then we think hard. Let the Bible unsettle me . . . We must train our people that it is not irreverent to see difficulties in the biblical text and to think hard about how they can be resolved.”
But it’s not that difficult.
At the end of the day, anyone can understand the Bible. Sure there are some concepts or historical nuances that are tricky. But God wrote it for all people – the PhD student and the illiterate farmer. The fancy word for this is perspicuity. All people can understand.
Understanding takes effort, though.
But there is no “high road” to understanding the Word of God. Pick up the pick-ax and start mining. Bible study implies labor.
2) There Are So Many Interpretations
Yes, there are. Throw a dart at any verse in the Bible, and you’ll have a hundred people interpret it a hundred ways. But that doesn’t mean they’re all correct. It shouldn’t be one of the excuses we make for not reading the Bible! Actually, most interpretations are wrong. “But how do we know which one is right?” By pressing in, by accumulating the most data, by (and this is the big one) being aware of our own biases.
Our God is not a God of confusion. The Bible only teaches one thing. It’s possible to discover it. To form convictions around it. That said, allow the timeless words of Rupertus Meldenius to guide you:
“In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity.” Stay vigorous, yet humble, in your studies.
3) It’s BORING!
You know, the Bible is like a hole on the mountainside. From afar, it looks boring. This is where most people stay, far away. But you get closer, and actually peer inside – hmm, you might notice a thing or too. You’ll discover that it’s actually more than a hole. It’s a cave!
But then, you finally decide to enter in and explore. And you realize it’s a mine, a cavern, an entire world. Soon, you begin to learn the intricate tunnel system, the jewel-infused ground beneath. It’s not long before you actually enjoy getting “lost” in it, because it’s only then that you feel found.
Friends, just start. I know, I know. Is that really the best advice I got? Yeah, it is. Start digging and see for yourself. But you’ll need some tools along the way, so make sure to read this post before you do.
Copyright © 2019 by <Justin Talbert> @ <getgroundedministries.com>. Used with permission. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org