A lot of Christians think that “a daily dose of Scripture” will keep them spiriutally healthy. And today, new technology gives us lots of cool ways to get that dose–CD’s in the car, iPods in the gym, emails at work. There’s even a program that automatically calls your cell phone with a recorded Bible verse every day. It all sounds good, but I wonder if we’re losing sight of something important.
I’m reminded of people who buy those Vitamin Paks at the convenience store. You’ve seen it. Folks are too busy to eat at home so they stop in for quick bite during the day–a couple of doughnuts and a 24 oz. coffee, or maybe a chili-cheese dog, some chips and a Super-Big-Gulp of Mountain Dew. Oh sure, it’s bad for you, but come on, it tastes great and there’s no time for anything else.
Then at the check-out counter they grab a Vitamin Pak, those foil packets with several multi-colored vitamin pills inside. Who knows what’s in them…and who cares? It’s just vitamins; maybe they’ll cancel out the effect of the junk food.
Isn’t that how some Christians approach Bible reading? We’re too busy and distracted to develop a balanced spiritual life of worship, prayer, rest and service. Plus, sitting down to thoughtfully read the B-I-B-L-E seems like an old-fashioned methodology. That’s why a digital dose of Scripture is so appealing. One quick gulp and bingo!, we’re good. But the truth is, convenience store spirituality isn’t a very good way to draw closer to God.
I think it’s great that new technology offers unprecidented opporutnities to distribute God’s Word to a needy world; the church should do everything it can to take advantage of this. But in the process we must not forget what makes Bible reading effective. It doesn’t do much good to force down a handful of Scripture if we don’t also take time to understand and apply it.
So whether we prefer a digital Bible or a “dead tree Bible” the key is to “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” God’s Word, as the classic prayer in The Book of Common Prayer says. That’s still the foundation of a healthy spiritual life.
A Daily Dose of Scripture