I enjoyed reading as a kid, then somewhere around junior high or high school that enjoyment went away. Maybe it was being forced to read certain books for school, or maybe it was something I did. I don’t really know. As an adult I’ve discovered that I do still like reading, but getting a book in my hand is the hard part. If I can find a good book, I’ll read and read, but taking time to find a good book is something I don’t really like doing.
My younger sister and I started reading a series of books that she really likes. I’d never read them before, so she read to me while I did dishes or made supper. We finished book number one, and she got the second and third books from the library. I started the second book a couple days ago and finished today.
As I was reading yesterday, I thought, “It would be great if the Bible was a page-turner like this book. I wish I had more desire to read it like I feel with this book.”
Then I thought, “Maybe if I knew how the story ended I wouldn’t be so excited to pick this book up and read. I know the Bible. I know the story. I know who wins. Maybe that’s why I am not so excited.”
All at once, I was convicted as the Lord said, “Is that why you read the Bible? To be entertained? Should that be the reason for reading the Bible?”
I go through phases in my relationship with Jesus. There are times when I don’t spend any time reading the Bible for days, even weeks. I hate admitting that, but it’s true. I want to read the Bible, but sometimes I just don’t, and I think God just showed me why.
My reason for reading the Bible has been all wrong. Being entertained isn’t the only reason I read the Bible, but it obviously must be part of the reason because I had that thought.
At least in America, maybe in the many parts of the world, a culture of entertainment has been fostered. We have 24/7 access to information, movies, music, and more at our fingertips in the form of smartphones. We have laptops and tablets to take on airplanes, long drives, family vacations, and even short walks. The world is filling up with low-key entertainment addicts, and I’m not immune.
Is being entertained a bad thing? No, but when we feel the need to be constantly entertained it is. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I need constant entertainment, but there are times that I find my mind craving that stimulus whether it’s Facebook, a game on my phone, or a show on Netflix.
So then, what is my reason for reading the Bible? What should it be?
I want to know more about God. I want to grow in my relationship with Him. I want to learn how to be more like Him. I want to be wise. I want to learn about the love He has for me and everyone else. I want to read the Bible because I love Him, and He loves me and wants to reveal His heart to me.
I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit lives in me and communicates in the simplest ways to realign my heart with the Father’s.