Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So What's Your Excuse?

In Taking Back The Good Book, Woodrow Kroll shares with his readers a top ten list of excuses people give for NOT reading the Bible. Do you agree that these are all-too-familiar excuses? Are there any excuses you'd add to the list?

Reason 10: I Don't Know Where To Start
Reason 9: I Can't Find What I Want In the Bible
Reason 8: The Bible Doesn't Confirm What I Believe
Reason 7: I Hear the Bible at Church, So Why Do I Need To Read It for Myself?
Reason 6: The Language of the Bible Doesn't Make Sense to Me
Reason 5: The Bible is Such a Big Book, I Could Never Read It All
Reason 4: The Bible Isn't Relevant to My Life
Reason 3: The Bible is Boring and Wasn't Written to Me Anyway
Reason 2: Reading the Bible isn't a Priority in My Life
Reason 1: I Don't Have Time to Read the Bible

Of course, he addresses each reason on its own. In most cases deconstructing the argument or excuse. This eighth chapter is just great--the whole book is great--but I thought I'd share a few passages. One that addresses reason #7 and one that addresses #1.
Does your pastor read Scripture in his sermon? If so, does he read an entire book? Probably not. How about a chapter? Too long. Would an average of five verses be about right? If that's all the Scripture you ever read, those five verses would total 260 verses each year. If you don't read the Bible yourself because you hear it in church, you'd have to live an astonishing 120.6 years just to hear all of God's Word once. Still think you don't need to read the Bible for yourself? (71-72)
The most common excuse for not reading the Bible is our busy lives. We don't seem to have time to do the things we need to do. There's work and school, running to the store, soccer practice, dinner--life is just a bit harried. Who has time to sit and read?

You do. Here's why: time is a set quantity. It's not elastic. We all have sixty seconds in every minute, sixty minutes in every hour, twenty-four hours in every day. Time may fly, but it doesn't change. You have 1,440 golden minutes in every day and so do I.

The issue is never about time; it's always about what we choose to do get done in the time we have. Is reading God's Word, meditating and benefiting from it, something you wish to take the time to do or not? If not, the convenient but pathetic excuse is to say, "I don't have time."

A couple of years ago, I took a stopwatch with me everywhere I flew. I would read my Bible while in flight and time how long it took to read each book of the Bible. Once when I was returning from Frankfurt on a flight to Chicago, a flight attendant saw the stopwatch and asked, "Are you timing our service?" I chuckled and said, "No, I'm timing how long it takes me to read my Bible." Puzzled, she asked why someone would want to do that. I said, "Because everybody tells me they would read their Bible but they don't have time. I want to know how much time they don't have."

Did you know that you can read half the books of the Bible in less than thirty minutes each? You can read twenty-six of them in less than fifteen minutes. The whole Bible, cover to cover, can be read by an average reader in less than seventy-two hours.

Maybe it's time we rethink our reasons for not reading the Bible and just call them what they are--excuses. Take another look at these "Top Ten." How many of them have you used with God as an excuse for not reading his Word? If you can see through the excuses so quickly, imagine how easily he can see through them.

The Bible is read by people who choose to read it. Bible reading is neglected by people who choose to neglect it. It's just that simple. No excuses. Just honesty. (76-77)
If there are any excuses you'd like to hear more about (from the book), let me know. I'll be happy to share more if needed.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible


Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That's very entertaining. I'm stil reading through the Bible slowly. I don't have a time table but I'm starting to make some good progress.

Anonymous said...

My excuse is the not enough time. I've realized though, that if I can set the time aside for other things, I can certainly make Bible reading a priority.