“What if I don’t like to read the Bible?”
As a pastor, I get asked this question a lot. It’s a great question!
Now, I have an answer, but it might not be the easiest thing to hear. But you have to know, reading the Bible is one of the single most important things you can do as a Christian. As followers of Jesus, we don’t make it very far without spending regular time in God’s Word!
Here’s what I want to tell you, first and foremost: the reason you don’t like to read the Bible is, most likely, because you don’t read the Bible…or maybe you’re brand new to this, and that’s okay!
The Bible teaches that the things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned. What that means for reading the Bible is, when you get started, you’re spiritually getting oriented to what it says…It’s challenging! There’s tons of deep stuff in there and lots of things you won’t understand at first – none of us do, until we get some practice in! The more you read the Bible, the more you invest your time, you’ll realize the Bible is an incredible book…and reading it is a skill learned over time.
When you sit down to read, start by asking God, “What is your will for my life? What does what I’m reading mean for my life?” Before you know it, approaching the Bible this way gets you excited, and you start to look forward to it each day.
When I started reading the Bible for the first time 20-something years ago, I had no clue what I was reading. But after making it a habit to read every single day, I’m blown away by the fact that almost everything I read makes a ton of sense to me now. And the Bible stays fresh, all the time! Just this morning, the scriptures I was reading were interacting with my heart in an entirely different way than they have in the past — because I’m still growing and changing too!
Let me give you an example: when you were born, you didn’t really consciously eat. You didn’t necessarily like eating. You probably have no extremely early memories of eating. You definitely didn’t enjoy food as a baby! But then when you get older, you discover you really like eating. Food is nourishing, it tastes good, you have preferences and things you don’t like.
In fact, anything in life works this way! Any appetite or skill we develop over time starts as something small, but we keep showing up and investing, and it blossoms. And then it blows your mind!
Here’s my advice if you don’t like reading the Bible: just keep reading it.
Don’t focus on the things you don’t understand. Don’t be afraid. Just focus on what God is teaching you today. Your understanding will grow over time! I promise.
As you grow in your understanding of God’s Word, you will continue to grow spiritually as well. And that’s exactly what God wants for you, as a follower of Jesus!