I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Bible reading lately. Sometimes a person whose spiritual tank is on empty will articulate the sentiment that to combat this she plans to embark on a program of reading the Bible straight through — if only she could get started. As I talk with the person, I hear many “shoulds” that are certainly nowhere in scripture itself.
Maybe the person “knows she should” start reading the Bible again like she used to do, but she feels, “why bother? I already know what it’s going to say. Do this, do that. Be better. I’m already trying my best.” And then she feels a stab of guilt: good Christians love to read the Bible; they don’t think thoughts like that. Or maybe she gets started with it but almost immediately is bogged down in the begats.
For someone in that situation, I suggest going to Psalm 23. Even though it’s one of the “Greatest Hits of All Time”, it still counts as reading the Bible.
Whether it “counts” is a consideration that some of us reflexively calculate. “Does this count toward our grade?” rises to mind even though our schooldays are far behind.
Yes, if anyone was keeping score, it would count. It is God’s Word to us. Or if Psalm 23 doesn’t float your boat, read another of the “greatest hits.” These words of comfort and spiritual sustenance were written precisely for people who are feeling spiritually dry and adrift. Don’t trip yourself up with thoughts like “this is like eating dessert first”. It’s not.
Your good shepherd leads His flock beside still waters…so it can take nice long refreshing drinks. He restores your soul. Let Him. Hang out in the parts of the Bible that give you the most comfort for awhile.