3 Sep 2015

Bible Guilt

Submitted by Stephen Winters

How often have you heard someone say (or have you said it yourself)? "Well, umm, I know that I should be reading my Bible every day. I really want to, really I do! Really, I mean it." There is the guilt plainly laid out. However, feeling guilty about not reading the Bible doesn't make that person actually read the Bible.

Now, let me ask you, Do you have to make yourself eat. "Do you ever make escuses for skipping meals? Do you ever say, "I know that I should be eating every day. I really want to, but xxxxx". The truth is, unless we have a specific reason, we DO eat our meals regularly. We don't have to convince ourselves to eat. We just eat.

Now why do people say that they really want to read their Bible daily, but then don't do it. The truth is we do things that benefit us an... The truth is, those people who finding the Bible meaningful, or otherwise get some benefit from it, they do read the Bible (at least sometimes).

I ask, "What is the point of making excuses about not reading the Bible?" If someone were to ask you if you have read the "Driver's manual" today, would you feel any guilt in saying, "No, I have not read the Driver's manual for years." What is the difference of saying, "No, I haven't read the Bible in years."

The Christian community loves to hand out guilt, in such subtle ways as, "Have you read your Bible today?" Do any of these people ask you if you've eaten a meal today?
The strong implecation from "Christian leaders" is that daily Bible reading is "spiritual". The reverse implication of that is if you don't read your Bible every day, then you are "unspiritual". No one wants to be thouoght of as unspiritual. Therefore we accept that guilt, but make excuses why we DON'T read the Bible daily (i.e. , "I really want to...").

Those people are under the Bible guilt themselves tend to pass along the guilt to other people. Have you ever heard the saying, "Hurt people hurt people"? (People who are hurting themselves hurt other people). Now, look at this, "Guilted people guilt people" (People who are feeling guilt are quick to give guilt to other people). The answer is this. When someone tries to hand you guilt, don't accept it.

If you want to read the Bible, then read it. However, if you don't want to read the Bible, then don't. But don't make up excuse about "wanting to read the Bible." Instead, get Real!! Be real!!

Remember this, all those people in the Bible, who are given to us as example, they did NOT read the Bible. In fact, very few of them could even read. BUT, they lived their lives with honor an integrety.

The question is often brought up, "if you don't have the Bible, (or if you don't read if every day) how would you know how to live, to please God.

The Greatest Commandment

34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’d 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-39

We are told that the whole law and the prophets can be summed up in this, love God and love your neighbor.
Those who try to get you to read your Bible every day are trying to put you under their law, Their thinking is "to be a good little Christian will read his Bible every day". This is the law that is in their mind. It is their bondage. It is NOT the law of God.

Now, don't get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with reading the Bible when appropriate. Just don't get caught up in the bondage of "must read the Bible every day to be a good little Christian."

Freedom in Christ

1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

Slavery can be found in may areas. For this article, we are addressing one area of slavery (bondage), that of being a slave to Bible reading. I say this, Read the Bible because you want to, not because you think you HAVE TO.

Now, let us look at this alegory.  it has been said, "The Bible can be viewed as God's “Driver's Manual” for life." I assume, that if you are like me, that before you got your driver's license you studied the Driver's Manual. You did that because you needed to know the driving laws and the rules of the road. However, in the intervening time since you obtained your driver's license, how often have you read your driver's manual? Have your read it every day?


more thoughts

How do you learn how to drive well? The simple answer is by getting a lot of practice driving. Of course, while you are learning how to drive the car, you are also watching the road, watching other cars, looking out of anything that might dart out onto the road, adjusting your speed, your distance to the cars in front of your, on both sides, watching the rear view mirrow

In much the same way, you learn to successfully live life in the same way as you do in driving the car. However, in this case YOU are the car. YOu learn to watch and correct your thoughts and behaviors,

Learning to live life as a... is very simple, but it's not easy. It is simply learning to live a life of love, love for God and love for others, A large part of that is learning to die to self.

This is a learning process. We came into this life as very self-centered beings, called babies. At this point we thought that life was all about us. We cry every time we are hungry, and the food magically appears. Then, over a period of many years, hopefully, we begin to learn that life is NOT all about us.

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