PJ has inspired me to
rip off piggyback on his own weekly confession posts with my own. And since he’s already brought up the topic of Bible-reading, I’ll just stick with it.
Confession #1: I don’t read my Bible as much as I should.
There are lots of reasons why: I’ve had too much to read for school recently; I’m reading blogs and other things every day that touch on Biblical stuff so I’m covered; when I do read, I cover several days’ worth of scripture at a time; and so on.
But that’s weak.
No matter who I am and what my schedule looks like, I’ve got time every day to spend thoughtfully in God’s word. Even if it’s on my iPhone while I’m in the bathroom, I should be able to manage that. Especially considering what else I manage to make time for daily: facebook, video games, stuffing my face (I have to eat, yeah, but probably not as frequently or as much as I do), and sometimes just wallowing around the house.
Two of my most frequently-used excuses are these: “I’m not in the right frame of mind to really dig in right now, so I’ll wait until I’m feeling more reflective and ‘holy'”; and “I had an awesome Bible study yesterday, so I think I’ll just coast on that one for awhile instead trying to make lightning strike twice”.
Doesn’t fly. And here’s why:
In response to the first argument, I’ll direct your attention to an awesome post by Steven Furtick – “Inspiration is for amateurs” – in which he pretty succinctly makes my case for me. “Inspiration is for amateurs,” he says. “Professionals go in and work…. The people who are really called to do something do it because they’re called, not because they feel like it. Their inspiration is the fact that the Holy Spirit has equipped them with gifts. That’s more than enough inspiration to get started.”
In other words, there’s no excuse to not do anything that God’s called you to do.
As for the second excuse, I’ll again concede to a much wiser individual, this time John Maxwell in his book Failing Forward. Maxwell tells the story (don’t know if it’s true or not) of a pottery teacher who implemented a new grading method in his class. Half the class would be graded on the quantity of their work: if they produced fifty pounds of work by the end of the week, they’d get an “A”. Forty pounds would get a “B”, and so on. The other half of the class would be assessed on their work’s quality. They needed only to produce one “perfect” pot for an “A”, regardless of how many tries it took to create.
Who do you think got the most A’s? Turns out it was the “quantity” group. Here’s how Maxwell explains it:
“It seems that while the ‘quantity’ group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the ‘quality’ group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.”
The application here: consistent, daily readings of the Bible will be more likely to produce beneficial fruit in your life than wonderfully in-depth and reflective but infrequent “binge” readings.
If you’re like me and need help in the consistency department, you might benefit from some of the reading plans offered by YouVersion.com. If you join their online community now and start using some of their dozens of reading plans, you’ll also be contributing to their push to facilitate 1 million minutes of Bible-reading in the month of January 2011. Just click on the image to the right to visit their site.
In closing, I’ll repeat the advice PJ gave earlier this week: don’t go into 2011 with out a plan of action. Be ready, be prepared, have a vision for how you plan to spend time in God’s word daily.