For ten years I’ve blamed Bible College for my lost passion when it comes to reading the Bible.
If you’ve ever been to Bible College, maybe you can relate. In those days I read with a purpose: I read to prove something, for debates, to win arguments. I searched for obscure Scripture references to support an opinion I had already formed.
I knew the Bible. Sword drills were my jam. I had memorized large chunks of Scripture that I could recite when I wanted to impress someone with my vast theological knowledge.
When I finished Bible College I worked with youth. I had good marks so I thought I was ready to handle anything they threw at me. I searched the Bible for answers to their questions: “What makes Christianity better than other religions?” “Why is God the only way?” “Is homosexuality a sin?” “Why did my mom die?” I read the Bible for them, to answer their questions and help with their struggles – but not my own.
I knew the Bible, but my spirit was parched.
Then I became a mother and the kids became my excuse. With work, diaper changes, dayhome drop-offs and pick-ups and scrambling to keep the household running, Sure, I could quote Scripture to my children when I needed to, but I didn’t have time to read the Bible for anything more than the occasional Bible story when I remembered to do family devotions.
It wasn’t until my six-year-old innocently asked me one night before bed, “Mommy, why do we read the Bible?” that I realized that I was completely missing the point. I don’t have a specific purpose in mind when I spend time with my son, I do it because I love him. I love being with him, talking to him, learning about him and from him. He’s not an obligation, he’s not something to check off a list every day.
If something is really important, we don’t find the time, we make the time.
It wasn’t Bible College’s fault, it was mine.
I wasn’t reading. I wasn’t searching, I wasn’t showing up each day with the expectation that God would reveal Himself, His truth, to me – not for grades, or to win an argument, or to have something to share when it was my turn to lead a group devotion, but because He loves me.
I’ve done Bible reading plans in the past – chronological, historical, from beginning to end. This year I’m reading just to read, with no real plan and no goal in mind other than to get to know Jesus better. Not as an acquaintance, but as a Father and a creator and a friend. My perspective on reading the Bible has changed from being something to cross off my to-do list each day to something I look forward to each and every morning when I wake up.
Lord, I don’t want to go through the motions anymore. The Bible says that You make all things new – so please, make my heart new. Make my mind new. Make my life new! Proverbs 8:17 says “I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.” I’m seeking, Lord. I want to desire You more than anything else. Renew my passion for You and for Your Word!