New Year Resolution #3. Don’t read the Bible every day.

If you are a Christian it is a certainty that at some stage in your life you have decided to read the Bible in 1 year. That works out at around 4 or 5 chapters a day. A warning though, you will look like a back slider or a Rob Bell type heretic compared to those who use this mental plan.

I’ve always liked the idea of reading through the whole Bible in a year in principle but was never committed enough to it. I get bored and don’t understand huge chunks of it and it starts to get all a bit too much. That says more about me than anything.

Reading the Bible everyday is never going to be a bad thing. That’s impossible. But is it realistic? Why do we do it? Anytime I have tried something like this I usually get to a certain point then stop. Last time I tried it I was 11 and I reached Numbers. That means I survived Leviticus. Pretty good. But then I stopped. Why?

Simple. I stopped because someone showed me that they were impressed with what I was doing. Someone had given me confirmation with what I suspected I was looking for all along. Praise.

I didn’t really want to grow in God or any of the usual New Year Spiritual resolutions (not that these are ever bad!), I wanted to impress people.

And I did. So I had no other reason to continue.

I’d like to say things have changed since then but really they haven’t. I still want to show people how spiritual I am, how close God and I are, how much better their life would be if the just did exactly what I was. Spiritual disciplines are never bad but if we are doing them just because it’s a new year we have missed something vital.

God doesn’t work on our time. He doesn’t clock in every day when we wake up and clock out when we sleep. I’d stick my neck out as far as saying I don’t think Jesus birthday is actually December 25th. Yeah really.

He’s seen more New Year’s Eve’s that we’ve had hot communions.

He’s not really impressed by you reading through the Bible in 3 months.

He is however interested in knowing us. In being a part of all our lives this year, every decision, every hurt, every tragedy and every joy. He does care about how we treat people and how we show mercy to those who need it. He wants us to listen to Him and follow Him. Yeah reading His word is so important but it’s not everything.

So if and when you fail you can remember that the goal is Jesus and not finishing Malachi by March. And if and when you succeed you can remember that the goal is Jesus, not just reading Leviticus without skipping parts.

God cares about a lot of things.

But He doesn’t care how long we take to read the Bible.

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