Do We Really Need To Read The Bible Everyday?
We pretty much take it for granted that we need to read the bible everyday. Every Christian I know holds it dear to his/her heart as if it is the gospel, and there are plenty of bible verses to back up the command to feed on God’s Word. I don’t think I need to list them all here. The problem is that I might have a problem with really doing it everyday.
Or perhaps I may not have that problem at all if we are just talking about reading. I had always been good with following commands if that means making myself seem like I am obedient and good. When it comes to reading the bible every brother or sister I know says I have to read it everyday. I did it with much discipline during my earlier Christian years, and I had no problem finishing the bible once a year, for many years. I know some of us may have a problem with doing that, some may not, and that is due to our different character and/or upbringing — but this is not what I want to write about now. What I do know is that I did it then because I was led to believe that discipline in reading the bible is the mark of spirituality. My elders confirm it as much when they exhort us to read one-year bibles. And they tell us how much it has changed them when they develop the habit to read the bible everyday. Color me impressed, since I had the discipline to do it. I did it, and I looked down on others who can’t do it. The pride that I displayed is an insidious poison that I later grew to loathe with my whole being, but at that time I thought I was in good spiritual shape.
Who wouldn’t come to that conclusion? I am willing to bet that you can’t find a Christian who will say that you don’t have to read your bible everyday. Why would anyone say that? The Bible is God’s Word, and we are all supposed to treasure God’s Word in our hearts and let is abide in us. Why would there be a Bible if God didn’t think it necessary to have one?
But if it is such an entrenched pillar of our faith that is built on biblical foundation, why would I want to say anything contrary about it at all? It is as if I might be questioning the fact that we need to eat everyday in order to physically survive and grow. And I’m not sure if it is wise for me to go out on a limb to say that we don’t need to read the bible everyday. Perhaps I might even be thrown out of my church for even thinking about it, and I certainly don’t want to be a stumbling block to any of my brothers and sisters nor hinder their spiritual growth by suggesting otherwise.
If you’re following my train of thoughts however, you might also come to the same conclusion — that we are worshipping the discipline of bible reading, not God Himself. The very life saving institution prescribed by God to let us drink from the fountain of life and be transformed by the everlasting truth has been tainted by Satan and sin. And this is business as usual I would say, for is there anything in this world that has not been tainted by corruption and death?
But if God is perfect, and men is not; and if pride is a sin, how can any of us think that we can grow spiritually when we read the bible with pride? I trembled with much fear just thinking back on my earlier proud years, and wondered that God even kept me on a leash so that I was not eventually completely lost to Him. God is perfect and sinless, and sinful men cannot approach Him. This is such a simple and basic fact that has been forgotten by so many of us in our practice of Christian living.
Yet, by His infinite grace, He allowed us to still grow spiritually. We can approach the throne of light in our tattered clothes, no matter we already have a clean and perfect one to wear and we often forget to wear it. God indeed uses everything we experience for our own good, even the bad and sinful ones. When He saw fit to begin to heal me of my sinful spirit, and opened my eyes to understand His truth that had eluded me before, those years of proud bible reading bore fruit as godly truth springs up from barren land inside me. Dead words came to life, and I begin to be amazed by the Word of God. I would go out on a limb to say that it should be the same for all my brothers and sisters, that nothing is wasted, and God can use everything, and He does.
So let us read the bible as often as we can, and now I will say that I don’t believe it has to be everyday though it is a very good habit to develop. What I am more concerned about is that we should not make this discipline a mark of our spirituality, for it is not a direct one, and it is not one that is used by God to judge us. It is subjective and fraught with dangers. By all means exhort each other to read the bible everyday, but only when we are sure that we do not do it ourselves in the wrong spirit. God help us.