One of the greatest problems in our churches today is a practical denial of the sufficiency of Scripture. I say “practical” denial because most people (at least in Southern Baptist churches) would not actually verbally deny that Scripture is sufficient for knowing, trusting, and obeying God, but practically this is not lived out. We “know” the Bible is sufficient, it just doesn’t show up practically. While there are several examples of this, one major example is the fact that there are many in the South who claim allegiance to Christ who rarely read their bibles. Sure, maybe they open it from time to time, or read a “devotional” daily, but for the most part they go day after day without meaningful time in the Word. Here are 3 common excuses:
I’m too Busy
I’m no bible scholar- I just can’t understand the bible when I read it
I just don’t like to read
I’d like to tell you the real reason people don’t read the Bible: they don’t want to. Plain and simple. If you really want to read your Bible you will. If you don’t want to read your Bible you won’t- and here in the South, there’s no in between. We can read, we have time, and we have access to God’s Word in our language (several times over!). What are people really saying when they don’t discipline themselves to take in a consistent regimen of God’s Word? “I don’t really need that.” In other words, it’s not important. Sure, I may say the Bible is sufficient, but in reality I’m just trying to “live life” and I really depend on other things (like “feelings”) to tell me what I need to know about trusting, obeying, and knowing God.
Now, there are tons of passages that we could examine but I’d just like to quote one- Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
People don’t “hunger and thirst” for righteousness by reading the Bible (although it is certainly true that more bible increases hunger for more bible!). People read the Bible because they hunger and thirst for righteousness. The explanation of this verse is that God’s people will hunger and thirst to pursue righteousness because of the change He has wrought in their hearts. The application is that God’s people will read the Bible because they desire to read God’s Word since they’ve been changed and want to learn and grow in their pursuit of godliness.
I’m not saying if you don’t read your bible every day that you’re not a Christian. I’m simply saying that when you don’t read the Bible it’s because you don’t want to, so don’t make a different excuse. Confess it, repent of it, and look to Christ who atoned for our flippant attitude toward’s His Word. And realize that if you don’t ever have a desire to pursue righteousness, then you are not saved. Repent and believe the Gospel.